2018 DAC System Design Contest

Contest announcement: June 21, 2017
Registration opens: September 1, 2017
Registration closes: October 6, 2017
Ranking update: The last Tuesday of each month
Contest closes: May 28, 2018
Award presentation: DAC 2018

Award: grand cash prize for the top three teams (details later).


Each team is required to register at the following link: Registration Link (Closes: Oct. 6, 2017).

We will evaluate the registration and notify you within three days whether your registration is successful or not. The evaluation is purely a mechanism to screen out incompetent teams not truly interested in the contestant so that we can devote all our resources to those who are serious.


The 2018 System Design Contest features embedded system implementation of neural network based target tracking for drones. Contestants will receive training dataset provided by our industry sponsor DJI, and a hidden dataset will be used to evaluate the performance of the designs in terms of accuracy and power. Contestants will compete in two different categories: FPGA and GPU, and grand cash awards will be given to the top three teams in each category. In addition, our industry sponsor Xilinx and Nvidia will provide a limited number of teams successfully registered with a free design kit (on a first-come-first-served basis). The award ceremony will be held at 2018 IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference.


The link to download training dataset will be provided to successfully registered teams. We expect to release the dataset to the general public at the conclusion of the contest.

Target Platforms


Contestants are required to select one of the target platforms to exploit machine learning algorithms for the chosen application.

Evaluation (subject to change):

The evaluation for the design is based on the precision, recall, robustness, speed and power consumption (detailed metrics would be released soon).


Each team will submit their design once each month until the final deadline, and the ranking will be updated monthly. Note that if a team receives the free design kit from Xilinx or Nvidia and quit the contest without reasonable efforts, we reserve the right to request it be returned to us.


The contest is open to both industry and academia.


The works below ddresses object tracking in an end-to-end manner. They have simple pipelines, can work in real-time and are suitable for system implementation. Also, they provide source codes and deep learning models and may be used as a good starting point.


Yiyu Shi University of Notre Dame Chair
Jingtong Hu University of Pittsburgh Co-Chair
Christopher Rowen Cognite Ventures DAC representative
Bei Yu Chinese University of Hong Kong Publicity

Address any question or comments to Yiyu Shi (YSHI4 AT ND DOT EDU).

Sponsored by: