4.1. Physical Devices

To retrieve a list of physical device objects representing the physical devices installed in the system, call:


VkResult vkEnumeratePhysicalDevices(
    VkInstance                                  instance,
    uint32_t*                                   pPhysicalDeviceCount,
    VkPhysicalDevice*                           pPhysicalDevices);

If pPhysicalDevices is NULL, then the number of physical devices available is returned in pPhysicalDeviceCount. Otherwise, pPhysicalDeviceCount must point to a variable set by the user to the number of elements in the pPhysicalDevices array, and on return the variable is overwritten with the number of structures actually written to pPhysicalDevices. If pPhysicalDeviceCount is less than the number of physical devices available, at most pPhysicalDeviceCount structures will be written. If pPhysicalDeviceCount is smaller than the number of physical devices available, VK_INCOMPLETE will be returned instead of VK_SUCCESS, to indicate that not all the available physical devices were returned.

Once enumerated, general properties of the physical devices are queried by calling:


void vkGetPhysicalDeviceProperties(
    VkPhysicalDevice                            physicalDevice,
    VkPhysicalDeviceProperties*                 pProperties);

The VkPhysicalDeviceProperties structure is defined as:


typedef struct VkPhysicalDeviceProperties {
    uint32_t                            apiVersion;
    uint32_t                            driverVersion;
    uint32_t                            vendorID;
    uint32_t                            deviceID;
    VkPhysicalDeviceType                deviceType;
    char                                deviceName[VK_MAX_PHYSICAL_DEVICE_NAME_SIZE];
    uint8_t                             pipelineCacheUUID[VK_UUID_SIZE];
    VkPhysicalDeviceLimits              limits;
    VkPhysicalDeviceSparseProperties    sparseProperties;
} VkPhysicalDeviceProperties;

The vendorID and deviceID fields are provided to allow applications to adapt to device characteristics that are not adequately exposed by other Vulkan queries. These may include performance profiles, hardware errata, or other characteristics. In PCI-based implementations, the low sixteen bits of vendorID and deviceID must contain (respectively) the PCI vendor and device IDs associated with the hardware device, and the remaining bits must be set to zero. In non-PCI implementations, the choice of what values to return may be dictated by operating system or platform policies. It is otherwise at the discretion of the implementer, subject to the following constraints and guidelines:

The physical devices types are:


typedef enum VkPhysicalDeviceType {
} VkPhysicalDeviceType;

The physical device type is advertised for informational purposes only, and does not directly affect the operation of the system. However, the device type may correlate with other advertised properties or capabilities of the system, such as how many memory heaps there are.

Properties of queues available on a physical device are queried by calling:


void vkGetPhysicalDeviceQueueFamilyProperties(
    VkPhysicalDevice                            physicalDevice,
    uint32_t*                                   pQueueFamilyPropertyCount,
    VkQueueFamilyProperties*                    pQueueFamilyProperties);

If pQueueFamilyProperties is NULL, then the number of queue families available is returned in pQueueFamilyPropertyCount. Otherwise, pQueueFamilyPropertyCount must point to a variable set by the user to the number of elements in the pQueueFamilyProperties array, and on return the variable is overwritten with the number of structures actually written to pQueueFamilyProperties. If pQueueFamilyPropertyCount is less than the number of queue families available, at most pQueueFamilyPropertyCount structures will be written.

The VkQueueFamilyProperties structure is defined as:


typedef struct VkQueueFamilyProperties {
    VkQueueFlags    queueFlags;
    uint32_t        queueCount;
    uint32_t        timestampValidBits;
    VkExtent3D      minImageTransferGranularity;
} VkQueueFamilyProperties;

The bits specified in queueFlags are:


typedef enum VkQueueFlagBits {
    VK_QUEUE_GRAPHICS_BIT = 0x00000001,
    VK_QUEUE_COMPUTE_BIT = 0x00000002,
    VK_QUEUE_TRANSFER_BIT = 0x00000004,
} VkQueueFlagBits;

If an implementation exposes any queue family that supports graphics operations, at least one queue family of at least one physical device exposed by the implementation must support both graphics and compute operations.


All commands that are allowed on a queue that supports transfer operations are also allowed on a queue that supports either graphics or compute operations thus if the capabilities of a queue family include VK_QUEUE_GRAPHICS_BIT or VK_QUEUE_COMPUTE_BIT then reporting the VK_QUEUE_TRANSFER_BIT capability separately for that queue family is optional.

For further details see Queues.

The value returned in minImageTransferGranularity has a unit of compressed texel blocks for images having a block-compressed format, and a unit of texels otherwise.

Possible values of minImageTransferGranularity are:

Queues supporting graphics and/or compute operations must report $(1,1,1)$ in minImageTransferGranularity, meaning that there are no additional restrictions on the granularity of image transfer operations for these queues. Other queues supporting image transfer operations are only required to support whole mip level transfers, thus minImageTransferGranularity for queues belonging to such queue families may be $(0,0,0)$ .

The Device Memory section describes memory properties queried from the physical device.

For physical device feature queries see the Features chapter.