Level Zero driver

This driver uses libze and LLVM/Clang to run OpenCL code on GPU devices via Level Zero API.

The implementation is work-in-progress, but usable for various applications.



  • Clang+LLVM: 17 and 18 should work, older may work but are untested.

  • Level Zero ICD + development files (level-zero and level-zero-devel)

  • Level Zero drivers (on Ubuntu, intel-level-zero-gpu)

  • SPIRV-LLVM-Translator from Khronos (https://github.com/KhronosGroup/SPIRV-LLVM-Translator) Must be built for the corresponding Clang/LLVM branch. Preferably the llvm-spirv binary should be in the same path as llvm-config, otherwise PoCL’s CMake could pick up a different (wrong) llvm-spirv.

  • SPIR-V tools (in particular, spirv-link)

The libze_loader + headers should support at least Level Zero specification version 1.11; older may work but are untested.

To build the Level Zero driver driver (with recommended options):

cmake -DENABLE_LEVEL0=1 -DENABLE_LLVM=1 -DSTATIC_LLVM=ON -DWITH_LLVM_CONFIG=/path/to/bin/llvm-config -DLLVM_SPIRV=/path/to/llvm-spirv <path-to-pocl-source-dir>

Using STATIC_LLVM is recommended to avoid problems with symbol conflicts (the LevelZero driver uses its own version of LLVM), even though some LLVM versions might work when linked as shared libraries.

For additional CMake variables see CMake: other options & features.

After build, it can be tested without installation (in the build directory):

OCL_ICD_VENDORS=$PWD/ocl-vendors/pocl-tests.icd POCL_BUILDING=1 POCL_DEVICES=level0 ./examples/example1/example1

This assumes that libOpenCL.so is the opensource ocl-icd loader; for other ICD loaders you will need to somehow point them to the built libpocl.so. For the meaning of environment variables, see Tuning pocl behavior with ENV variables.

What’s implemented (some were not tested)

  • buffer read/write/map/unmap

  • kernel execution

  • image support

  • sampler support

  • Spec constants

  • subgroups

  • SVM

  • 64bit buffer support (specialization)

  • caching native binaries

Unfinished / non-optimal

  • kernel argument metadata parsing (type_name is not parsed ATM, the other argument attributes are)

  • host synchronization when CL_MEM_USE_HOST_PTR is used (works with buffers, but doesn’t work with Images)

  • all buffers are allocated using shared memory (zeMemAllocShared), this might be a performance problem on dGPUs. TODO: investigate & possibly use the virtual + physical memory APIs.

Doesnt work / missing

  • support for row_pitch/slice_pitch arguments of Image APIs … there are actually two Level0 extension APIs that have the row/pitch arguments, but they currently return ZE_RESULT_ERROR_UNSUPPORTED_FEATURE

Extra features / tunables

POCL_LEVEL0_JIT env variable can be used to enable JIT compilation (kernels are compiled lazily only when launched via clEnqueueNDRangeKernel, instead of eagerly at clBuildProgram-time). Useful with programs that have thousands of kernels (e.g. from heavily templated code). See Tuning pocl behavior with ENV variables for accepted values.

Known Bugs

The FP64 support, on some devices, is software emulated. Kernels using FP64 might not produce results with accuracy that is required by the OpenCL standard.

Certain tests may pass on some GPUs but not others. Also, the driver is known to fail more tests with LLVM 16 because of unsolved bugs related to opaque-pointer changes in LLVM and SPIRV-LLVM-Translator.


The tests that should work with Level Zero driver can be run with tools/scripts/run_level0_tests.

This driver was tested with these de0vices:

  • Intel Tiger Lake integrated GPU

  • Intel Alder Lake integrated GPU

  • Intel Arc A750