Shader Resource Group Semantics (ShaderResourceGroupSemantic).

The Shader Resource Group Semantic (SRG Semantic), for short, defines the order in which descriptor bindings and descriptor sets are emitted for each SRG. In HLSL, descriptor sets are also known as register spaces. In AZSL, define SRGs by using the ShaderResourceGroupSemantic keyword.

ShaderResourceGroupSemantic <name>
{
    FrequencyId = <0-based index>;
    [ShaderVariantFallback = <number of bits>;] // Required only if using shader variant options.
}

An SRG Semantic relates to the frequency of change of SRG data. The render pipeline has a predefined set of SRG semantics in <Engine Root>/Gems/Atom/Feature/Common/Assets/ShaderLib/Atom/Features/SrgSemantics.azsli

The table below outlines the various predefined SRG semantics and their change frequencies.

SRG semanticChange frequency
SRG_PerDrawData changes per draw packet. Highest frequency.
SRG_PerObjectData changes per object.
SRG_PerMaterialData changes per material.
SRG_PerSubPassData changes per sub-pass.
SRG_PerPassData changes per pass.
SRG_PerPass_WithFallbackSame as SRG_PerPass, but used for cases where the Pass SRG defines the Fallback key.
SRG_PerViewData changes per viewport. Each viewport has its own camera.
SRG_PerSceneData changes per scene. Lowest frequency.
SRG_RayTracingGlobalReserved for ray tracing shaders.
SRG_RayTracingLocal_[1..7]Reserved for ray tracing shaders.

FrequencyId

The value of FrequencyId defines the order of the compiled SRGs in register space and the order in which they are emitted. Consider the following SRG definitions:

    ShaderResourceGroupSemantic SRG_PerDraw
    {
        FrequencyId = 0;
    }
    ShaderResourceGroupSemantic SRG_PerObject
    {
        FrequencyId = 1;
    }
    
    ShaderResourceGroup ObjectSrg : SRG_PerObject
    {
        int                      m_objectCounter;
        Texture2D<float4>        m_texture;
        RWTexture2D<float4>      m_rwtexture;
        Sampler                  m_sampler;
    }
    
    // Even though "DrawSrg" is declared after "ObjectSrg",
    // it uses a ShaderResourceGroupSemantic with higher frequency(FrequencyId == 0)
    // than "ObjectSrg" with lower frequency (FrequencyId == 1).
    // This means the resources of "DrawSrg" will be emitted before the resources
    // of "ObjectSrg".
    ShaderResourceGroup DrawSrg : SRG_PerDraw
    {
        int                      m_drawCounter;
        Texture2D<float4>        m_texture;
        RWTexture2D<float4>      m_rwtexture;
        Sampler                  m_sampler;
    }

When the AZSL code shown above is compiled with default arguments, it yields the following HLSL code:

    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup ObjectSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_texture : register(t1);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u1);
    
    SamplerState ObjectSrg_m_sampler : register(s1);
    
    struct ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int ObjectSrg_m_objectCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> ObjectSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b1);
    
    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup DrawSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_texture : register(t0);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u0);
    
    SamplerState DrawSrg_m_sampler : register(s0);
    
    struct DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int DrawSrg_m_drawCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> DrawSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b0);

In the compiled output above, you can see that both SRGs share the same register space (space0, implicit), aka the same descriptor set. And of particular importance, please note how the register binding for DrawSrg starts at 0, while the resources for ObjectSrg start at 1. This ordering was determined by the FrequencyId member of the SRG Semantics.

Let’s see what happens when –use-spaces is passed as the command line argument for AZSLc:
–use-spaces: Each SRG will be assigned its own register space, ordered by the FrequencyId of the SRG Semantics.

    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup ObjectSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_texture : register(t0, space1);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u0, space1);
    
    SamplerState ObjectSrg_m_sampler : register(s0, space1);
    
    struct ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int ObjectSrg_m_objectCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> ObjectSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b0, space1);
    
    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup DrawSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_texture : register(t0, space0);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u0, space0);
    
    SamplerState DrawSrg_m_sampler : register(s0, space0);
    
    struct DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int DrawSrg_m_drawCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> DrawSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b0, space0);
    

In the compiled output above, you can see that both SRGs start the register bindings at index 0, but all resources of DrawSrg are assigned to space0, while the resources for ObjectSrg start at space1. This ordering was determined by the FrequencyId member of the SRG Semantics.

Some platforms, like Vulkan & Metal, require all registers to be bound in sequence across all resource types for a given register space (descriptor set). To accommodate for this case, AZSLc accepts the command line argument –unique-idx.
This is the output of the same AZSL file when compiled with –unique-idx, and using a single register space.

    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup ObjectSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_texture : register(t4);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u5);
    
    SamplerState ObjectSrg_m_sampler : register(s6);
    
    struct ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int ObjectSrg_m_objectCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> ObjectSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b7);
    
    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup DrawSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_texture : register(t0);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u1);
    
    SamplerState DrawSrg_m_sampler : register(s2);
    
    struct DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
        int DrawSrg_m_drawCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> DrawSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b3);
    

Note how all registers associated with DrawSrg start at index 0, while the registers bound to ObjectSrg start at index 4. Again, the reason the DrawSrg register indices start before ObjectSrg is because the FrequencyId of the SRG Semantic SRG_PerDraw is 0, while the FrequencyId of the SRG Semantic SRG_PerObject is 1.

Finally, if we compile to use a register space per SRG, with –use-spaces, and with –unique-idx this will be the output HLSL code:

    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup ObjectSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_texture : register(t0, space1);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> ObjectSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u1, space1);
    
    SamplerState ObjectSrg_m_sampler : register(s2, space1);
    
    struct ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
         int ObjectSrg_m_objectCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::ObjectSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> ObjectSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b3, space1);
    
    /* Generated code from
    ShaderResourceGroup DrawSrg
    */
    Texture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_texture : register(t0, space0);
    
    RWTexture2D<float4> DrawSrg_m_rwtexture : register(u1, space0);
    
    SamplerState DrawSrg_m_sampler : register(s2, space0);
    
    struct DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct
    {
         int DrawSrg_m_drawCounter;
    };
    
    ConstantBuffer<::DrawSrg_SRGConstantsStruct> DrawSrg_SRGConstantBuffer : register(b3, space0);
    

Note, for each register space, in this case, each SRG, all registers start at 0, BUT resources that belong to DrawSrg are bound to register space 0, while resources that belong to ObjectSrg are bound to space 1. This ordering of register spaces was determined by the FrequencyId member of the SRG Semantics.

ShaderVariantFallback: Defining Who Owns The Bit Array Of Options

ShaderVariantFallback is an optional keyword that marks an SRG as the owner of the array of bits where all Shader Variants will be encoded.
Because there can only be one array of bits to encode the shader variant options, only one SRG can bind to an SRG Semantic that uses the ShaderVariantFallback keyword.
If a shader makes no use of shader variant options, then the ShaderVariantFallback is not required to be used.

For a deeper dive into shader variant options encoding see: Shader variant options & The Fallback Key .


Copyright © 2022 Open 3D Engine Contributors

Documentation Distributed under CC BY 4.0.
For our trademark, privacy and antitrust policies, code of conduct, and terms of use, please click the applicable link below or see https://www.lfprojects.org.


The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our Trademark Policy page.