Adaptive Computing Challenge 2021

What real world problems could you solve with adaptive computing?

Total prize pool of $70,000

Adaptive Computing Challenge 2021
Adaptive Computing Challenge 2021
This contest is over! See all the winning entries. Want more chances to win prizes? Check out our active contests.



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.

Free hardware application: Do I have to submit a project entry if I receive free hardware?
Yes, all free hardware recipients must submit a project entry by the contest deadline. Free hardware recipients who do not submit a project entry will become ineligible to receive free hardware in future giveaways.
Free hardware application: How many free devices are available?
360 free devices are available. One device maximum per person.
Free hardware application: How many ideas can I submit?
Each participant is allowed to submit one idea.
Free hardware application: I was notified that I was selected to receive one of free devices. When will I receive it?
We will notify you via email when free devices are shipped. If you haven't received an email yet, we haven't yet shipped it. Be aware that once you receive the initial notification, it may still be a few weeks until you receive the shipment notification.
Free hardware application: What happens if I receive free hardware and do not submit a project entry?

Participants who receive free hardware and do not submit a project may be ineligible for future giveaways unless the hardware is returned.

If you receive free hardware and become unable to submit a project, please contact us at and let us know as soon as possible. We may choose to arrange for the hardware to be shipped to another participant.

Free hardware application: What kind of idea is more likely to win free hardware?
We encourage creative ideas. For instance, pet feeders and home automation systems are very common nowadays and less creative. We also encourage realistic ideas. While solving world hunger is a great goal, it may not be realistic.
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 be a member of the Xilinx Platform hub.
  • You must create a Xilinx Developer Program account.
  • 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 free 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 page’s “apply for hardware” tab.
  • Your hardware application must be written in English.
  • You must score 80 or higher on the hardware quiz relevant to the hardware you are applying for.
  • Your hardware application must use, as applicable to the corresponding contest category, the Xilinx KV260, VCK5000 or Big Data Analytics Card.
  • Your hardware application must be submitted by Oct 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM PT.

Note: For participants located in China hardware application process should be completed with the following links. Complete both the Hardware application and Quiz on either the Chinese website or, please do not duplicate applications.

Hardware/Software Build Requirements

  • Your project must be created, as applicable to the corresponding contest category, using Vitis, Vitis AI and/or Vivado
  • Your project must use one of the listed pieces of Xilinx hardware. It is not required to apply for hardware through this contest to enter. If you did not win a piece of hardware or do not already own the listed hardware, the following hardware per category is also eligible:

Edge Computing – KV260, Ultra96, ZCU104, ZCU102

Datacenter AI – VCK5000, U50, U200, U250, U280

Big Data Analytics – Big Data Analytics Card

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 Mar 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM PT.

Special Prize Category Requirements

  • To be eligible for the "Women in Technology" prize, you must be female. If you are entering as a team, your team must have at least 50% female participants.
  • To be eligible for the "Xilinx University Program (XUP)" prize, you must be a student in an actively studying in a university program.
What are the judging criteria?

Your project will be judged according to the rubric below.

  • Idea Innovativeness (10 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)
  • Project Presentation (20 points) Demo, documentation, photos, videos
  • Execution and Quality (40 points) The quality of the project will be measured from the perspective of accuracy, performance and stability
  • Business Viability Potential (30 points) The potential for product commercialization and market adoption.
What are the prizes?
Edge Computing 1st Place
  • $10,000 Visa Gift Card
Edge Computing 2nd Place
  • $5,000 Visa Gift Card (2 are available)
Edge Computing 3rd Place
  • $3,000 Visa Gift Card (3 are available)
Data Center AI
  • 1st Place: $10,000 Visa Gift Card
  • 2nd Place: $5,000 Visa Gift Card
  • 3rd Place: $3,000 Visa Gift Card
Big Data Analytics
  • 1st Place: $10,000 Visa Gift Card
  • 2nd Place: $5,000 Visa Gift Card
  • 3rd Place: $3,000 Visa Gift Card
Women in Technology
  • $2,500 Visa Gift Card
Xilinx University Program (XUP)
  • $2,500 Visa Gift Card
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”.

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 Mar 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM PT by clicking “review and submit project” on the contest page.
What is the contest timeline?

Contest begins:

September 7, 2021 at 7:35 AM PT

Applications for hardware close:

October 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM PT

Hardware recipients announced:

November 15, 2021

Submissions close:

March 31, 2022 at 11:59 PM PT

Winners announced:

April 18, 2022

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

Free devices winners will be announced by November 15, 2021. The list of winners will be visible on the Apply for hardware tab.

Contest winners will be announced on April 18, 2022. The list of winners will be visible on the main page (Contest brief).

Who is eligible to participate?

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

  • You are at least 13 years of age
  • 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.

Couldn't find an answer to your question? Email us.