# Portal:OpenGL Shading Language/Compute Shader

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The **Compute Shader** is the shader stage for doing arbitrary computations. It uses an execution model based on groups of shader invocations which can share data. The invocations within this "work groups" can inter-communicate reasonably freely, with relatively minimal overhead. The number of invocations within a work group is limited, but the shader can select any number within those limits.

Compute shaders are not rendering operations. They are started by calling a dispatch function. Each execution of a compute shader will run the given number of work groups.

While compute shaders could in theory take the place of rendering, this is not a practical use for them.