C Specification

The VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding {
    uint32_t              binding;
    VkDescriptorType      descriptorType;
    uint32_t              descriptorCount;
    VkShaderStageFlags    stageFlags;
    const VkSampler*      pImmutableSamplers;
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding;


  • binding is the binding number of this entry and corresponds to a resource of the same binding number in the shader stages.

  • descriptorType is a VkDescriptorType specifying which type of resource descriptors are used for this binding.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors contained in the binding, accessed in a shader as an array. If descriptorCount is zero this binding entry is reserved and the resource must not be accessed from any stage via this binding within any pipeline using the set layout.

  • stageFlags member is a bitmask of VkShaderStageFlagBits specifying which pipeline shader stages can access a resource for this binding. VK_SHADER_STAGE_ALL is a shorthand specifying that all defined shader stages, including any additional stages defined by extensions, can access the resource.

    If a shader stage is not included in stageFlags, then a resource must not be accessed from that stage via this binding within any pipeline using the set layout. Other than input attachments which are limited to the fragment shader, there are no limitations on what combinations of stages can be used by a descriptor binding, and in particular a binding can be used by both graphics stages and the compute stage.


  • pImmutableSamplers affects initialization of samplers. If descriptorType specifies a VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER type descriptor, then pImmutableSamplers can be used to initialize a set of immutable samplers. Immutable samplers are permanently bound into the set layout; later binding a sampler into an immutable sampler slot in a descriptor set is not allowed. If pImmutableSamplers is not NULL, then it is considered to be a pointer to an array of sampler handles that will be consumed by the set layout and used for the corresponding binding. If pImmutableSamplers is NULL, then the sampler slots are dynamic and sampler handles must be bound into descriptor sets using this layout. If descriptorType is not one of these descriptor types, then pImmutableSamplers is ignored.

The above layout definition allows the descriptor bindings to be specified sparsely such that not all binding numbers between 0 and the maximum binding number need to be specified in the pBindings array. Bindings that are not specified have a descriptorCount and stageFlags of zero, and the descriptorType is treated as undefined. However, all binding numbers between 0 and the maximum binding number in the VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::pBindings array may consume memory in the descriptor set layout even if not all descriptor bindings are used, though it should not consume additional memory from the descriptor pool.


The maximum binding number specified should be as compact as possible to avoid wasted memory.

Valid Usage
  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and descriptorCount is not 0 and pImmutableSamplers is not NULL, pImmutableSamplers must be a pointer to an array of descriptorCount valid VkSampler handles

  • If descriptorCount is not 0, stageFlags must be a valid combination of VkShaderStageFlagBits values

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT and descriptorCount is not 0, then stageFlags must be 0 or VK_SHADER_STAGE_FRAGMENT_BIT

Valid Usage (Implicit)

See Also

Document Notes

For more information, see the Vulkan Specification at URL

This page is extracted from the Vulkan Specification. Fixes and changes should be made to the Specification, not directly.

Copyright (c) 2014-2017 Khronos Group. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.