2021 DAC System Design Contest


  • Registration Deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Teams to submit solutions and ranking updates: March, April, May 2021
  • Final Submission Due: June 11, 2021
  • Finalist teams announced: June 14, 2021
  • Invited talks and winners announced at DAC: December 5 - 9, 2021 in San Francisco, CA

Contest finalists will be invited to give presentations at the Design Automation Conference, December 5-9, 2021 in San Francisco, CA.

Overview: The 2021 System Design Contest features embedded system implementation of neural network-based object detection for drones. Contestants will receive a training dataset provided by DJI, and a hidden dataset will be used to evaluate the performance of the designs in terms of accuracy and power. Contestants will compete to create the best performing design on an Ultra96 v2 FPGA development board.  Grand cash awards will be given to the top three teams. In addition, our industry sponsor Xilinx will provide a limited number of teams successfully registered with a free design kit.

The award ceremony will be held at 2021 Design Automation Conference in San Francisco, CA

Registration Deadline: March 1, 2021

Registration link and contest details available at the conference website:


Eligibility: The contest is open to both industry and academia.

General Inquires:

Email: jgoeders@byu.edu



  • Jeff Goeders, Brigham Young University 
  • Callie Hao, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Cheng Zhuo, Zhejiang University
  • Naveen Purushotham, Xilinx

Frequently Asked Questions

Previous Contest Winning Designs