• Slang User's Guide
    • Introduction
      • Why use Slang?
      • Who is Slang for?
      • Who is this guide for?
      • Goals and Non-Goals
    • Getting Started with Slang
      • Installation
      • Your first Slang shader
      • The full example
    • Conventional Language Features
      • Types
      • Expressions
      • Statements
      • Functions
      • Preprocessor
      • Attributes
      • Global Variables and Shader Parameters
      • Shader Entry Points
      • Mixed Shader Entry Points
    • Basic Convenience Features
      • Type Inference in Variable Definitions
      • Immutable Values
      • Namespaces
      • Member functions
      • Properties
      • Initializers
      • Operator Overloading
      • Subscript Operator
      • `Optional<T>` type
      • `reinterpret<T>` operation
      • `struct` inheritance (limited)
      • Extensions
      • Multi-level break
      • Force inlining
      • Special Scoping Syntax
    • Modules and Access Control
      • Defining a Module
      • Importing a Module
      • Access Control
      • Legacy Modules
    • Capabilities
      • Capability Atoms and Capability Requirements
      • Conflicting Capabilities
      • Requirements in Parent Scope
      • Inferrence of Capability Requirements
      • Inferrence on target_switch
      • Capability Aliases
      • Validation of Capability Requirements
    • Interfaces and Generics
      • Interfaces
      • Generics
      • Supported Constructs in Interface Definitions
      • Associated Types
      • Generic Value Parameters
      • Interface-typed Values
      • Extending a Type with Additional Interface Conformances
      • `is` and `as` Operator
      • Extensions to Interfaces
    • Automatic Differentiation
      • Using Automatic Differentiation in Slang
      • Mathematic Concepts and Terminologies
      • Differentiable Types
      • Forward Derivative Propagation Function
      • Backward Derivative Propagation Function
      • Builtin Differentiable Functions
      • Primal Substitute Functions
      • Working with Mixed Differentiable and Non-Differentiable Code
      • Higher Order Differentiation
      • Interactions with Generics and Interfaces
      • Restrictions of Automatic Differentiation
    • Compiling Code with Slang
      • Concepts
      • Command-Line Compilation with `slangc`
      • Using the Compilation API
    • Supported Compilation Targets
      • Background and Terminology
      • Direct3D 11
      • Direct3D 12
      • Vulkan
      • OpenGL
      • CUDA and OptiX
      • CPU Compute
      • Summary
    • Special Topics
      • Handling Matrix Layout Differences on Different Platforms
        • Two conventions of matrix transform math
        • Discussion
        • Matrix Layout
        • Overriding default matrix layout
      • Using Slang to Write PyTorch Kernels
        • Getting Started with slangpy
        • Specializing shaders using slangpy
        • Back-propagating Derivatives through Complex Access Patterns
        • Manually binding kernels
        • Builtin Library Support for PyTorch Interop
        • Type Marshalling Between Slang and Python
      • Obfuscation
        • Obfuscation in Slang
        • Using An Obfuscated Module
        • Accessing Source Maps
        • Accessing Source Maps without Files
        • Emit Source Maps
        • Issues/Future Work
      • Interoperation with Target-Specific Code
        • Defining Intrinsic Functions for Textual Targets
        • Defining Intrinsic Types
        • Injecting Preludes
        • Managing Cross-Platform Code
        • Inline SPIRV Assembly

Using Slang to Write PyTorch Kernels

If you are a PyTorch user seeking to write complex, high-performance, and automatically differentiated kernel functions using a per-thread programming model, we invite you to try Slang. Slang is a cutting-edge shading language that provides a straightforward way to define kernel functions that run incredibly fast in graphics applications. With the latest addition of automatic differentiation and PyTorch interop features, Slang offers an efficient solution for developing auto-differentiated kernels that run at lightning speed with a strongly typed, per-thread programming model.

One of the primary advantages of a per-thread programming model in kernel programming is the elimination of concerns regarding maintaining masks for branches. When developing a kernel in Slang, you can use all control flow statements, composite data types (structs, arrays, etc.), and function calls without additional effort. Code created with these language constructs can be automatically differentiated by the compiler without any restrictions. Additionally, Slang is a strongly typed language, which ensures that you will never encounter type errors at runtime. Most code errors can be identified as you type thanks to the compiler’s coding assistance service, further streamlining the development process.

In addition, using a per-thread programming model also results in more optimized memory usage. When writing a kernel in Slang, most intermediate results do not need to be written out to global memory and then read back, reducing global memory bandwidth consumption and the delay caused by these memory operations. As a result, a Slang kernel can typically run at higher efficiency compared to the traditional bulk-synchronous programming model.

Getting Started with slangpy

In this tutorial, we will use a simple example to walk through the steps to use Slang in your PyTorch project.

Installation

slangpy is available via PyPI, so you can install it simply through

pip install slangpy

Note that slangpy requires torch with CUDA support. See the pytorch installation page to find the right version for your platform.

You can check that you have the right installation by running:

python -c "import torch; print(f'cuda: {torch.cuda.is_available()}')"

Writing Slang kernels for slangpy >= v1.1.5

From v2023.4.0, Slang supports auto-binding features that make it easier than ever to invoke Slang kernels from python, and interoperate seamlessly with pytorch tensors.

Here’s a barebones example of a simple squaring kernel written in Slang (square.slang):

[AutoPyBindCUDA]
[CUDAKernel]
void square(TensorView<float> input, TensorView<float> output)
{
    // Get the 'global' index of this thread.
    uint3 dispatchIdx = cudaThreadIdx() + cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim();

    // If the thread index is beyond the input size, exit early.
    if (dispatchIdx.x >= input.size(0))
        return;

    output[dispatchIdx.x] = input[dispatchIdx.x] * input[dispatchIdx.x];
}

This code follows the standard pattern of a typical CUDA kernel function. It takes as input two tensors, input and output. It first obtains the global dispatch index of the current thread and performs range check to make sure we don’t read or write out of the bounds of input and output tensors, and then calls square() to compute the per-element result, and store it at the corresponding location in output tensor.

slangpy works by compiling kernels to CUDA and it identifies the functions to compile by checking for the [CUDAKernel] attribute. The second attribute [AutoPyBindCUDA] allows us to call square directly from python without having to write any host code. If you would like to write the host code yourself for finer control, see the other version of this example here.

You can now simply invoke this kernel from python:

import torch
import slangpy

m = slangpy.loadModule('square.slang')

A = torch.randn((1024,), dtype=torch.float).cuda()

output = torch.zeros_like(A).cuda()

# Number of threads launched = blockSize * gridSize
m.square(input=A, output=output).launchRaw(blockSize=(32, 1, 1), gridSize=(64, 1, 1))

print(output)

The python script slangpy.loadModule("square.slang") returns a scope that contains a handle to the square kernel.

The kernel can be invoked by

  1. calling square and binding torch tensors as arguments for the kernel, and then
  2. launching it using launchRaw() by specifying CUDA launch arguments to blockSize & gridSize. (Refer to the CUDA documentation for restrictions around blockSize)

Note that for semantic clarity reasons, calling a kernel requires the use of keyword arguments with names that are lifted from the .slang implementation.

Invoking derivatives of kernels using slangpy

The [AutoPyBindCUDA] attribute can also be used on differentiable functions defined in Slang, and will automatically bind the derivatives. To do this, simply add the [Differentiable] attribute.

One key point is that the basic TensorView<T> objects are not differentiable. They can be used as buffers for data that does not require derivatives, or even as buffers for the manual accumulation of derivatives.

Instead, use the DiffTensorView type for when you need differentiable tensors. Currently, DiffTensorView only supports the float dtype variety.

Here’s a barebones example of a differentiable version of square:

[AutoPyBindCUDA]
[CUDAKernel]
[Differentiable]
void square(DiffTensorView input, DiffTensorView output)
{
    uint3 dispatchIdx = cudaThreadIdx() + cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim();

    if (dispatchIdx.x >= input.size(0))
        return;
    
    output[dispatchIdx.x] = input[dispatchIdx.x] * input[dispatchIdx.x];
}

Now, slangpy.loadModule("square.slang") returns a scope with three callable handles square, square.fwd for the forward-mode derivative & square.bwd for the reverse-mode derivative.

You can invoke square() normally to get the same effect as the previous example, or invoke square.fwd() / square.bwd() by binding pairs of tensors to compute the derivatives.

import torch
import slangpy

m = slangpy.loadModule('square.slang')

input = torch.tensor((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), dtype=torch.float).cuda()
output = torch.zeros_like(input).cuda()

# Invoke normally
m.square(input=input, output=output).launchRaw(blockSize=(6, 1, 1), gridSize=(1, 1, 1))

print(output)

# Invoke reverse-mode autodiff by first allocating tensors to hold the gradients
input = torch.tensor((0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), dtype=torch.float).cuda()
input_grad = torch.zeros_like(input).cuda()

output = torch.zeros_like(input)
# Pass in all 1s as the output derivative for our example
output_grad = torch.ones_like(output) 

m.square.bwd(
    input=(input, input_grad), output=(output, output_grad)
).launchRaw(
    blockSize=(6, 1, 1), gridSize=(1, 1, 1))

# Derivatives get propagated to input_grad
print(input_grad)

# Note that the derivatives in output_grad are 'consumed'.
# i.e. all zeros after the call.
print(output_grad)

slangpy also binds the forward-mode version of your kernel (propagate derivatives of inputs to the output) which can be invoked the same way using module.square.fwd()

You can refer to this documentation for a detailed reference of Slang’s automatic differentiation feature.

Wrapping your kernels as pytorch functions

pytorch offers an easy way to define a custom operation using torch.autograd.Function, and defining the .forward() and .backward() members.

This can be a very helpful way to wrap your Slang kernels as pytorch-compatible operations. Here’s an example of the square kernel as a differentiable pytorch function.

import torch
import slangpy

m = slangpy.loadModule("square.slang")

class MySquareFunc(torch.autograd.Function):
    @staticmethod
    def forward(ctx, input):
        output = torch.zeros_like(input)

        kernel_with_args = m.square(input=input, output=output)
        kernel_with_args.launchRaw(
            blockSize=(32, 32, 1),
            gridSize=((input.shape[0] + 31) // 32, (input.shape[1] + 31) // 32, 1))

        ctx.save_for_backward(input, output)

        return output

    @staticmethod
    def backward(ctx, grad_output):
        (input, output) = ctx.saved_tensors

        input_grad = torch.zeros_like(input)
        
        # Note: When using DiffTensorView, grad_output gets 'consumed' during the reverse-mode.
        # If grad_output may be reused, consider calling grad_output = grad_output.clone()
        #
        kernel_with_args = m.square.bwd(input=(input, input_grad), output=(output, grad_output))
        kernel_with_args.launchRaw(
            blockSize=(32, 32, 1),
            gridSize=((input.shape[0] + 31) // 32, (input.shape[1] + 31) // 32, 1))
        
        return input_grad

Now we can use the autograd function MySquareFunc in our python script:

x = torch.tensor((3.0, 4.0), requires_grad=True, device='cuda')
print(f"X = {x}")
y_pred = MySquareFunc.apply(x)
loss = y_pred.sum()
loss.backward()
print(f"dX = {x.grad.cpu()}")

Output:

X = tensor([3., 4.],
           device='cuda:0', requires_grad=True)
dX = tensor([6., 8.])

And that’s it! slangpy.loadModule uses JIT compilation to compile your Slang source into CUDA binary. It may take a little longer the first time you execute the script, but the compiled binaries will be cached and as long as the kernel code is not changed, future runs will not rebuild the CUDA kernel.

Because the PyTorch JIT system requires ninja, you need to make sure ninja is installed on your system and is discoverable from the current environment, you also need to have a C++ compiler available on the system. On Windows, this means that Visual Studio need to be installed.

Specializing shaders using slangpy

slangpy.loadModule allows specialization parameters to be specified since it might be easier to write shaders with placeholder definitions that can be substituted at load-time. For instance, here’s a sphere tracer that uses a compile-time specialization parameter for its maximum number of steps (N):

float sphereTrace<let N:int>(Ray ray, SDF sdf)
{
    var pt = ray.o;
    for (int i = 0; i < N; i++)
    {
        pt += sdf.eval(pt) * ray.d;
    }

    return pt;
}

float render(Ray ray)
{
    // Use N=20 for sphere tracing.
    float3 pt = sphereTrace<20>(ray, sdf);
    return shade(pt, sdf.normal());
}

However, instead of using a fixed 20 steps, the renderer can be configured to use an arbitrary compile-time constant.

// Compile-time constant. Expect "MAX_STEPS" to be set by the loadModule call.
static const uint kMaxSteps = MAX_STEPS;

float render(Ray ray)
{
    float3 pt = sphereTrace<kMaxSteps>(ray, sdf);
    return shade(pt, sdf.normal());
}

Then multiple versions of this shader can be compiled from Python using the defines argument:

import slangpy

sdfRenderer20Steps = slangpy.loadModule('sdf.slang', defines={"MAX_STEPS": 20})
sdfRenderer50Steps = slangpy.loadModule('sdf.slang', defines={"MAX_STEPS": 50})
...

This is often helpful for code re-use, parameter sweeping, comparison/ablation studies, and more, from the convenience of Python.

Back-propagating Derivatives through Complex Access Patterns

In most common scenarios, a kernel function will access input tensors in a complex pattern instead of mapping 1:1 from an input element to an output element, like the square example shown above. When you have a kernel function that access many different elements from the input tensors and use them to compute an output element, the derivatives of each input element can’t be represented directly as a function parameter, like the x in square(x).

Consider a 3x3 box filtering kernel that computes for each pixel in a 2D image, the average value of its surrounding 3x3 pixel block. We can write a Slang function that computes the value of an output pixel:

float computeOutputPixel(TensorView<float> input, uint2 pixelLoc)
{
    int width = input.size(0);
    int height = input.size(1);

    // Track the sum of neighboring pixels and the number
    // of pixels currently accumulated.
    int count = 0;
    float sumValue = 0.0;

    // Iterate through the surrounding area.
    for (int offsetX = -1; offsetX <= 1; offsetX++)
    {
        // Skip out of bounds pixels.
        int x = pixelLoc.x + offsetX;
        if (x < 0 || x >= width) continue;

        for (int offsetY = -1; offsetY <= 1; offsetY++)
        {
            int y = pixelLoc.y + offsetY;
            if (y < 0 || y >= height) continue;
            sumValue += input[x, y];
            count++;
        }
    }

    // Comptue the average value.
    sumValue /= count;

    return sumValue;
}

We can define our kernel function to compute the entire output image by calling computeOutputPixel:

[CudaKernel]
void boxFilter_fwd(TensorView<float> input, TensorView<float> output)
{
    uint2 pixelLoc = (cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim() + cudaThreadIdx()).xy;
    int width = input.dim(0);
    int height = input.dim(1);
    if (pixelLoc.x >= width) return;
    if (pixelLoc.y >= height) return;

    float outputValueAtPixel = computeOutputPixel(input, pixelLoc)

    // Write to output tensor.
    output[pixelLoc] = outputValueAtPixel;
}

How do we define the backward derivative propagation kernel? Note that in this example, there isn’t a function like square that we can just mark as [Differentiable] and call bwd_diff(square) to get back the derivative of an input parameter.

In this example, the input comes from multiple elements in a tensor. How do we propagate the derivatives to those input elements?

The solution is to wrap tensor access with a custom function:

float getInputElement(
    TensorView<float> input,
    TensorView<float> inputGradToPropagateTo,
    uint2 loc)
{
    return input[loc];
}

Note that the getInputElement function simply returns input[loc] and is not using the inputGradToPropagateTo parameter. That is intended. The inputGradToPropagateTo parameter is used to hold the backward propagated derivatives of each input element, and is reserved for later use.

Now we can replace all direct accesses to input with a call to getInputElement. The computeOutputPixel can be implemented as following:

[Differentiable]
float computeOutputPixel(
    TensorView<float> input,
    TensorView<float> inputGradToPropagateTo,
    uint2 pixelLoc)
{
    int width = input.dim(0);
    int height = input.dim(1);

    // Track the sum of neighboring pixels and the number
    // of pixels currently accumulated.
    int count = 0;
    float sumValue = 0.0;

    // Iterate through the surrounding area.
    for (int offsetX = -1; offsetX <= 1; offsetX++)
    {
        // Skip out of bounds pixels.
        int x = pixelLoc.x + offsetX;
        if (x < 0 || x >= width) continue;

        for (int offsetY = -1; offsetY <= 1; offsetY++)
        {
            int y = pixelLoc.y + offsetY;
            if (y < 0 || y >= height) continue;
            sumValue += getInputElement(input, inputGradToPropagateTo, uint2(x, y));
            count++;
        }
    }

    // Comptue the average value.
    sumValue /= count;

    return sumValue;
}

The main changes compared to our original version of computeOutputPixel are:

  • Added a inputGradToPropagateTo parameter.
  • Modified input[x,y] with a call to getInputElement.
  • Added a [Differentiable] attribute to the function.

With that, we can define our backward kernel function:

[CudaKernel]
void boxFilter_bwd(
    TensorView<float> input,
    TensorView<float> resultGradToPropagateFrom,
    TensorView<float> inputGradToPropagateTo)
{
    uint2 pixelLoc = (cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim() + cudaThreadIdx()).xy;
    int width = input.dim(0);
    int height = input.dim(1);
    if (pixelLoc.x >= width) return;
    if (pixelLoc.y >= height) return;

    bwd_diff(computeOutputPixel)(input, inputGradToPropagateTo, pixelLoc);
}

The kernel function simply calls bwd_diff(computeOutputPixel) without taking any return values from the call and without writing to any elements in the final inputGradToPropagateTo tensor. But when exactly does the propagated output get written to the output gradient tensor (inputGradToPropagateTo)?

And that logic is defined in our final piece of code:

[BackwardDerivativeOf(getInputElement)]
void getInputElement_bwd(
    TensorView<float> input,
    TensorView<float> inputGradToPropagateTo,
    uint2 loc,
    float derivative)
{
    float oldVal;
    inputGradToPropagateTo.InterlockedAdd(loc, derivative, oldVal);
}

Here, we are providing a custom defined backward propagation function for getInputElement. In this function, we simply add derivative to the element in inputGradToPropagateTo tensor.

When we call bwd_diff(computeOutputPixel) in boxFilter_bwd, the Slang compiler will automatically differentiate all operations and function calls in computeOutputPixel. By wrapping the tensor element access with getInputElement and by providing a custom backward propagation function of getInputElement, we are effectively telling the compiler what to do when a derivative propagates to an input tensor element. Inside the body of getInputElement_bwd, we define what to do then: atomically adds the derivative propagated to the input element in the inputGradToPropagateTo tensor. Therefore, after running boxFilter_bwd, the inputGradToPropagateTo tensor will contain all the back propagated derivative values.

Again, to understand all the details of the automatic differentiation system, please refer to the Automatic Differentiation chapter for a detailed explanation.

Manually binding kernels

[AutoPyBindCUDA] works for most use cases, but in certain situations, it may be necessary to write the host function by hand. The host function can also be written in Slang, and slangpy handles its compilation to C++.

Here’s the same square example from before:

// square.slang
float compute_square(float x)
{
    return x * x;
}

[CudaKernel]
void square_kernel(TensorView<float> input, TensorView<float> output)
{
    uint3 globalIdx = cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim() + cudaThreadIdx();

    if (globalIdx.x >= input.size(0))
        return;

    float result = compute_square(input[globalIdx.x]);

    output[globalIdx.x] = result;
}

To manually invoke this kernel, we then need to write a CPU(host) function that defines how this kernel is dispatched. This can be defined in the same Slang file:

[TorchEntryPoint]
TorchTensor<float> square(TorchTensor<float> input)
{
    var result = TorchTensor<float>.zerosLike(input);
    let blockCount = uint3(1);
    let groupSize = uint3(result.size(0), result.size(1), 1);
    __dispatch_kernel(square_kernel, blockCount, groupSize)(input, result);
    return result;
}

Here, we mark the function with the [TorchEntryPoint] attribute, so it will be compiled to C++ and exported as a python callable. Since this is a host function, we can perform tensor allocations. For instnace, square() calls TorchTensor<float>.zerosLike to allocate a 2D-tensor that has the same size as the input. zerosLike returns a TorchTensor<float> object that represents a CPU handle of a PyTorch tensor.

Then we launch square_kernel with the __dispatch_kernel syntax. Note that we can directly pass TorchTensor<float> arguments to a TensorView<float> parameter and the compiler will automatically convert the type and obtain a view into the tensor that can be accessed by the GPU kernel function.

Calling a [TorchEntryPoint] function from Python

You can use the following code to call square from Python:

import torch
import slangpy

m = slangpy.loadModule("square.slang")

x = torch.randn(2,2)
print(f"X = {x}")
y = m.square(x)
print(f"Y = {y.cpu()}")

Result output:

X = tensor([[ 0.1407,  0.6594],
        [-0.8978, -1.7230]])
Y = tensor([[0.0198, 0.4349],
        [0.8060, 2.9688]])

Manual binding for kernel derivatives

The above example demonstrates how to write a simple kernel function in Slang and call it from Python. Another major benefit of using Slang is that the Slang compiler support generating backward derivative propagation functions automatically.

In the following section, we walk through how to use Slang to generate a backward propagation function for square, and expose it to PyTorch as an autograd function.

First we need to tell Slang compiler that we need the square function to be considered a differentiable function, so Slang compiler can generate a backward derivative propagation function for it:

[Differentiable]
float square(float x)
{
    return x * x;
}

This is done by simply adding a [Differentiable] attribute to our square function.

With that, we can now define square_bwd_kernel that performs backward propagation as:

[CudaKernel]
void square_bwd_kernel(TensorView<float> input, TensorView<float> grad_out, TensorView<float> grad_propagated)
{
    uint3 globalIdx = cudaBlockIdx() * cudaBlockDim() + cudaThreadIdx();

    if (globalIdx.x >= input.size(0) || globalIdx.y >= input.size(1))
        return;

    DifferentialPair<float> dpInput = diffPair(input[globalIdx.xy]);
    var gradInElem = grad_out[globalIdx.xy];
    bwd_diff(square)(dpInput, gradInElem);
    grad_propagated[globalIdx.xy] = dpInput.d;
}

Note that the function follows the same structure of square_fwd_kernel, with the only difference being that instead of calling into square to compute the forward value for each tensor element, we are calling bwd_diff(square) that represents the automatically generated backward propagation function of square. bwd_diff(square) will have the following signature:

void bwd_diff_square(inout DifferentialPair<float> dpInput, float dOut);

Where the first parameter, dpInput represents a pair of original and derivative value for input, and the second parameter, dOut, represents the initial derivative with regard to some latent variable that we wish to back-prop through. The resulting derivative will be stored in dpInput.d. For example:

// construct a pair where the primal value is 3, and derivative value is 0.
var dp = diffPair(3.0);
bwd_diff(square)(dp, 1.0);
// dp.d is now 6.0

Similar to square_fwd, we can define the host side function square_bwd as:

[TorchEntryPoint]
TorchTensor<float> square_bwd(TorchTensor<float> input, TorchTensor<float> grad_out)
{
    var grad_propagated = TorchTensor<float>.zerosLike(input);
    let blockCount = uint3(1);
    let groupSize = uint3(input.size(0), input.size(1), 1);
    __dispatch_kernel(square_bwd_kernel, blockCount, groupSize)(input, grad_out, grad_propagated);
    return grad_propagated;
}

Builtin Library Support for PyTorch Interop

As shown in previous tutorial, Slang has defined the TorchTensor<T> and TensorView<T> type for interop with PyTorch tensors. The TorchTensor<T> represents the CPU view of a tensor and provides methods to allocate a new tensor object. The TensorView<T> represents the GPU view of a tensor and provides accessors to read write tensor data.

Following is a list of built-in methods and attributes for PyTorch interop.

TorchTensor methods

static TorchTensor<T> TorchTensor<T>.alloc(uint x, uint y, ...)

Allocates a new PyTorch tensor with the given dimensions. If T is a vector type, the length of the vector is implicitly included as the last dimension. For example, TorchTensor<float3>.alloc(4, 4) allocates a 3D tensor of size (4,4,3).

static TorchTensor<T> TorchTensor<T>.emptyLike(TorchTensor<T> other)

Allocates a new PyTorch tensor that has the same dimensions as other without initializing it.

static TorchTensor<T> TorchTensor<T>.zerosLike(TorchTensor<T> other)

Allocates a new PyTorch tensor that has the same dimensions as other and initialize it to zero.

uint TorchTensor<T>.dims()

Returns the tensor’s dimension count.

uint TorchTensor<T>.size(int dim)

Returns the tensor’s size (in number of elements) at dim.

uint TorchTensor<T>.stride(int dim)

Returns the tensor’s stride (in bytes) at dim.

TensorView methods

TensorView<T>.operator[uint x, uint y, ...]

Provide an accessor to data content in a tensor.

TensorView<T>.operator[vector<uint, N> index]

Provide an accessor to data content in a tensor, indexed by a uint vector. tensor[uint3(1,2,3)] is equivalent to tensor[1,2,3].

uint TensorView<T>.dims()

Returns the tensor’s dimension count.

uint TensorView<T>.size(int dim)

Returns the tensor’s size (in number of elements) at dim.

uint TensorView<T>.stride(int dim)

Returns the tensor’s stride (in bytes) at dim.

void TensorView<T>.fillZero()

Fills the tensor with zeros. Modifies the tensor in-place.

void TensorView<T>.fillValue(T value)

Fills the tensor with the specified value, modifies the tensor in-place.

T* TensorView<T>.data_ptr_at(vector<uint, N> index)

Returns a pointer to the element at index.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedAdd(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically add val to element at index.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedMin(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically computes the min of val and the element at index. Available for 32 and 64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedMax(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically computes the max of val and the element at index. Available for 32 and 64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedAnd(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically computes the bitwise and of val and the element at index. Available for 32 and 64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedOr(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically computes the bitwise or of val and the element at index. Available for 32 and 64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedXor(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically computes the bitwise xor of val and the element at index. Available for 32 and 64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedExchange(vector<uint, N> index, T val, out T oldVal)

Atomically swaps val into the element at index. Available for float and 32/64 bit integer types only.

void TensorView<T>.InterlockedCompareExchange(vector<uint, N> index, T compare, T val)

Atomically swaps val into the element at index if the element equals to compare. Available for float and 32/64 bit integer types only.

DiffTensorView methods

DiffTensorView.operator[uint x, uint y, ...]

Provide an accessor to data content in a tensor. This method is differentiable, and has the same semantics as using a .load() to get data, and .store() to set data.

DiffTensorView.operator[vector<uint, N> index]

Provide an accessor to data content in a tensor, indexed by a uint vector.tensor[uint3(1,2,3)] is equivalent to tensor[1,2,3]. This method is differentiable, and has the same semantics as using a .load() to get data, and .store() to set data.

float DiffTensorView.load(vector<uint, N> index)

Loads the 32-bit floating point data at the specified multi-dimensional index. This method is differentiable, and in reverse-mode will perform an atomic-add.

void DiffTensorView.store(vector<uint, N> index, float val)

Stores the 32-bit floating point value val at the specified multi-dimensional index. This method is differentiable, and in reverse-mode will perform an atomic exchange to retrieve the derivative and replace with 0.

float DiffTensorView.loadOnce(vector<uint, N> index)

Loads the 32-bit floating point data at the specified multi-dimensional index. This method is differentiable, and uses a simple store for the reverse-mode for faster gradient aggregation, but loadOnce must be used at most once per index. loadOnce is ideal for situations where each thread loads data from a unique index, but will cause incorrect gradients when an index may be accessed multiple times.

void DiffTensorView.storeOnce(vector<uint, N> index, float val)

Stores the 32-bit floating point value val at the specified multi-dimensional index. This method is differentiable, and uses a simple load for the reverse-mode for faster gradient loading, but storeOnce must be used at most once per index. loadOnce is ideal for situations where each thread stores data to a unique index, but will cause incorrect gradient propagation when an index may be accessed multiple times.

uint DiffTensorView.size(int dim)

Returns the underlying primal tensor’s size (in number of elements) at dim.

uint DiffTensorView.dims()

Returns the underlying primal tensor’s dimension count.

uint DiffTensorView.stride(uint dim)

Returns the stride of the underlying primal tensor’s dim dimension

CUDA Support Functions

cudaThreadIdx()

Returns the threadIdx variable in CUDA.

cudaBlockIdx()

Returns the blockIdx variable in CUDA.

cudaBlockDim()

Returns the blockDim variable in CUDA.

syncTorchCudaStream()

Waits for all pending CUDA kernel executions to complete on host.

Attributes for PyTorch Interop

[CudaKernel] attribute

Marks a function as a CUDA kernel (maps to a __global__ function)

[TorchEntryPoint] attribute

Marks a function for export to Python. Functions marked with [TorchEntryPoint] will be accessible from a loaded module returned by slangpy.loadModule.

[CudaDeviceExport] attribute

Marks a function as a CUDA device function, and ensures the compiler to include it in the generated CUDA source.

[AutoPyBindCUDA] attribute

Markes a cuda kernel for automatic binding generation so that it may be invoked from python without having to hand-code the torch entry point. The marked function must also be marked with [CudaKernel]. If the marked function is also marked with [Differentiable], this will also generate bindings for the derivative methods.

Restriction: methods marked with [AutoPyBindCUDA] will not operate

Type Marshalling Between Slang and Python

Python-CUDA type marshalling for functions using [AutoPyBindCUDA]

When using auto-binding, aggregate types like structs are converted to Python namedtuples and are made available when using slangpy.loadModule.

// mesh.slang
struct Mesh
{
    TensorView<float> vertices;
    TensorView<int> indices;
};

[AutoPyBindCUDA]
[CUDAKernel]
void processMesh(Mesh mesh)
{
    /* ... */ 
}

Here, since Mesh is being used by renderMesh, the loaded module will provide Mesh as a python namedtuple with named fields. While using the namedtuple is the best way to use structured arguments, they can also be passed as a python dict or tuple

m = slangpy.loadModule('mesh.slang')

vertices = torch.tensor()
indices = torch.tensor()

# use namedtuple to provide structured input.
mesh = m.Mesh(vertices=vertices, indices=indices)
m.processMesh(mesh=mesh).launchRaw(blockSize=(32, 32, 1), gridSize=(1, 1, 1))

# use dict to provide input.
mesh = {'vertices': vertices, 'indices':indices}
m.processMesh(mesh=mesh).launchRaw(blockSize=(32, 32, 1), gridSize=(1, 1, 1))

# use tuple to provide input (warning: user responsible for right order)
mesh = (vertices, indices)
m.processMesh(mesh=mesh).launchRaw(blockSize=(32, 32, 1), gridSize=(1, 1, 1))

Python-CUDA type marshalling for functions using [TorchEntryPoint]

The return types and parameters types of an exported [TorchEntryPoint] function can be a basic type (e.g. float, int etc.), a vector type (e.g. float3), a TorchTensor<T> type, an array type, or a struct type.

When you use struct or array types in the function signature, it will be exposed as a Python tuple. For example,

struct MyReturnType
{
    TorchTensor<T> tensors[3];
    float v;
}

[TorchEntryPoint]
MyReturnType myFunc()
{
    ...
}

Calling myFunc from python will result in a python tuple in the form of

[[tensor, tensor, tensor], float]

The same transform rules apply to parameter types.