Adaptive Computing Developer Contest

What real world problems could you solve with adaptive computing?
Adaptive Computing Developer Contest
Adaptive Computing Developer Contest
This contest is over! See all the winning entries. Want more chances to win prizes? Check out our active contests.



Other questions

Did I win the contest? When will I receive my prize?

If you are a winner, we will contact you directly via email to arrange the shipment of your prize.

I submitted my project but it says "Awaiting moderation". Will it affect my eligibility?
As long as you submit your project before the deadline it doesn't matter when it is moderated. Just sit back and enjoy a well deserved break!
My project is locked and I can't edit it anymore. Why is that?
All projects entered in the contest are locked after the submission deadline to ensure that they remain the same during the judging process. They are then unlocked after winners are announced.
Somebody copied my entry! What can I do?
When judging entries, we take into account the submission date. When an entry is clearly plagiarized from another, we favor the original entry. If you believe the result of the judging is unfair, please email us at to appeal.
What are the entry requirements?

To be eligible for judging, you must meet ALL of the following requirements unless otherwise stated:

General Requirements

  • You must be registered as a participant for this contest.
  • You must become a member of the Xilinx hub.
  • Your entry must be your own original work.
  • Your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other Hackster contest.
  • Your team is no more than 5 members per entry.*

*By entering a submission to this contest on behalf of a team, you acknowledge that you are the designated representative authorized to act on behalf of your team. (See full rules below for details)

Hardware Application Requirements

Note: If you choose to submit an application for hardware, you must meet the following requirements. If not, continue to 'Hardware/Software Build Requirements' below.

  • Your hardware application must be submitted via the online application form found on the contest's Hardware Application page. If applying for either the Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU104 Evaluation Kit giveaway or Alveo U50 Accelerator Card loaner, fill out the Xillinx Loaner/Export Control Form in addition to the Hardware Application form.
  • View the training material outlined on the Hardware Application page and take the corresponding quiz. Must have an 80% passing grade to Hardware Application to qualify.
  • Your hardware application must be written in English.
  • Your hardware application must use an Ultra96-V2 board, Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC Evaluation Kit, or an Alveo U50 Accelerator Card.
  • Your hardware application must leverage adaptive computing to solve a problem related to one of the three categories associated with the contest (Intelligent Video Analytics, Adaptable Compute Acceleration, or Adaptive Intelligence of Things).
  • Your hardware application must be submitted by August 14, 2020 11:59PM PT.

Hardware/Software Build Requirements

  • Your project must be created using, as applicable to the corresponding Contest category, the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU104 Evaluation Kit or the Xilinx Alveo U50 Accelerator Card or the Avnet Ultra96-V2 Development Board.
  • Your project must be created using the Xilinx Vitis or Vitis AI or both.
  • Your project must solve a problem related to one of the three categories associated with the contest (Intelligent Video Analytics, Adaptable Compute Acceleration, or Adaptive Intelligence of Things).

Project Documentation Requirements

  • Your project must include a project name, short project description, cover image, bill of materials (BOM), full instructions, images, and relevant resource files (schematics, code, CAD).
  • Your project must be written in English.
  • Your project must be submitted by November 15, 2020 11:59 PM PT
What are the judging criteria?

Your project will be judged according to the rubric below.

Project Documentation (30 points)
Story/Instructions - Show how you created your project, including images, screenshots, and/or a video demonstration of your solution working as intended. Ask yourself: “If I were a beginner reading this project, would I understand how to recreate it?”

Complete BOM (10 points)
Detail the hardware, software and/or tools used.

Code & Contribution (30 points)
Include working code with helpful comments.

Creativity (30 points)
Your idea doesn’t have to be original, but it should be creative (a fresh take on an old idea is often worth as much as a brand new idea).

What are the prizes?
Adaptive Intelligence of Things
  • 1st Place: US$10,000
  • 2nd Place: US$5,000
  • 3rd Place: US$3,000
Intelligent Video Analytics
  • 1st Place: US$10,000
  • 2nd Place: US$5,000
  • 3rd Place: US$3,000
Adaptable Compute Acceleration
  • 1st Place: US$10,000
  • 2nd Place: US$5,000
  • 3rd Place: US$3,000
What are the steps to enter the contest?

Step 1: Register for the Contest

  • Start by creating a free account on (or sign-in if already a member).
  • Register for the contest by clicking “Register as a participant”.
  • Become a member of the Xilinx hub.

Step 2: Build and Document Your Project

  • Build your project according to the submission requirements.
  • Document your project build using Hackster’s project template. To create a new project, click “create new project” on the contest page or the “+” symbol in the top right corner of your Hackster page.

Step 3: Review and submit your project

  • Review your project and make sure it meets all the submission requirements.
  • Upload a previously created project by clicking “add existing project” on the contest page.
  • Submit your project by November 15, 2020 11:59 PM PT by clicking “review and submit project” on the contest page.
What is the contest timeline?

Contest begins:

July 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM PT

Submissions close:

December 7, 2020 at 11:59 PM PT

Winners announced:

December 17, 2020

When will winners be announced? Where can I see the list?

Contest winners will be announced on December 17, 2020. The list of winners will be visible on the main page (Contest brief).

Who is eligible to participate?

By registering with for the Xilinx Adaptive Compute Acceleration Contest, you hereby agree to Xilinx’s Official Contest Rules in addition to all rules outlined below.

You are eligible to enter if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

  • You are at least 13 years of age
    If you are 12 years or younger, you must receive a legal guardian's permission and have them complete Hackster’s contest permission form prior to submitting an entry into this contest. Send any questions to
  • You are not a resident of Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, North Korea, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Myanmar, Mongolia, Macao, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, or Yemen. These countries are Xilinx restricted countries or US export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to the countries listed above, therefore residents of these countries are not eligible to participate in this challenge.
  • You are not involved in the execution or administration of this contest.
  • You are not an immediate family member or household member of a Hackster, Xilinx or Avnet employee.
Are there additional system requirements for the Alveo U50?

Yes, the Alveo U50 has minimum system requirements, including a PCI Express® 3.0-compliant with one x16 slot Motherboard. For the full list of system requirements, please reference Page 7 of the Alveo U50 Installation Guide.  

Can I apply for more than one hardware category or one piece of hardware?

Applicants may only apply for one hardware category and one piece of hardware within the category. Teams are also only eligible for one piece of hardware, regardless of the number of members on their team.

Can I change the category/hardware that I want to apply for?

Yes. If you want to change the category or hardware you'd like to apply for, please email '

As a reminder, participants are only eligible to win in one category. 

Can I still enter if I don’t want to apply for hardware?

Absolutely! You can still enter if you already have one of the types of hardware, or would like to purchase your own.

Do I have to create a account to fill out the Loaner/Export Control Form?

Yes, the Loaner/Export Control Form on requires you to create a account. Xilinx will not be able to contact you for marketing purposes unless you opt in on the site or through the contest registration page. The email you use for does not have to match your account so long as your provide your user profile URL on the form, when asked. 

How do I qualify for hardware?

You must fill out a hardware application, watch the mandatory training resources, and pass the quiz with a minimum 80% grade. Applications must be in English. The hardware giveaway and loaner program is also subject to the same eligibility requirements as the contest. Please refer to all contest rules here.

I am confused by all the requirements and steps, can you help me?

Yes! Please email with any questions you may have. We are here to help.

If I receive one of the loaner Alveo U50 cards, when do I have to give it back by?

Once selected for loaner hardware, recipients will receive full instructions on how to return the hardware to Xilinx. Xilinx will cover the cost of shipping the board to a designated address. Return shipments to Xilinx must be postmarked by December 4, 2020.

I have an Ultra96 version 1 board, can I use that instead of an Ultra96-V2?

Participants must use the Ultra96-V2 board for this contest.

I see that the giveaway Ultra96-V2 bundle includes a USB to JTAG/UART Pod. If I am using my own hardware, do I need to use this accessory to qualify to win?

No. This is not a requirement. Depending on your design you may find it necessary to use this accessory, but it is not mandatory.

I see that Xilinx is running a Startup Contest at the same time. How do I enter for that?

That contest is separate from the Adaptive Compute Developer Contest on To participate in the startup contest, you must register on and read the contest terms and conditions. 

Why do I have to fill out a separate form on for the ZCU104 giveaway and the Alveo U50 loaner program?

The Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC ZCU104 Evaluation Kit and Alveo U50 Accelerator Card are considered high-cost, commercial products and will ship from the Xilinx warehouse. As such, Xilinx is responsible for export compliance and must collect recipient information for this purpose. By filling out the “Loaner/Export Control Form” on, you are also giving Xilinx permission to use this information for the purpose of sending you the hardware, and also agreeing to the terms and conditions of the loan program.  

Xilinx is asking for my business email when I create my account or fill out the Loaner/Export Control Form, but I don't have one.

You can still use a non-business email, but it may prevent access from some of's resources or site pages (which you will not need for the purposes of this contest). 

Using a non-business email will not disqualify you from the contest. Having a business email will not proivde any advantage, and will not be a factor in judging. 

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