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IEEE Signal Processing Cup

The Signal Processing Cup (SP Cup) competition is held annually and encourages teams of students to work together to solve real-world problems using signal processing methods and techniques. Each year, three final teams are chosen to present their work during ICASSP to compete for the US$5,000 grand prize! 

Technical Committees interested in submitting a call for proposal for the upcoming SP Cup competitions, please visit the Technical Committees page for more information.

We gratefully acknowledge MathWorks, Inc. for their continued support of IEEE SP Cup. Participating students are encouraged to download the complimentary Mathworks Student Competitions Software for use in the competition.


IEEE Signal Processing Cup 2021

Configuring an Intelligent Reflecting Surface for Wireless Communications


The IEEE Signal Processing Society is proud to announce the eight edition of the Signal Processing Cup: an exciting challenge to control a wireless propagation environment using an intelligent reflecting surface.

Goal: An intelligent reflecting surface is a two-dimensional array of metamaterial whose interaction with electromagnetic waves can be controlled, e.g., by tuning the impedance variations over the surface. These surfaces might be used in 6G to direct wireless signals from a transmitter towards a receiver. The goal of the challenge is to characterize the behavior of an intelligent reflecting surface based on data from over-the-air signaling and develop a control algorithm to configure the surface to aid wireless communications.

Eligibility: Any team composed of one faculty member, at most one graduate student and 3-10 undergraduate students is welcomed to join the open competition.

Dataset: A novel dataset with transmitted and received signals, for different configurations, is provided for the challenge.

Prize: The three teams with highest performance in the open competition will be selected as finalists and will be invited to participate in the final competition at ICASSP 2021. The champion team will receive a grand prize of $5,000. The first and the second runner-up will receive a prize of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively, in addition to travel grants and complimentary conference registrations.

Organizer: Emil Björnson, Linköping University, Sweden

Additional details and data available on Monday, 1 February 2021 at GitHub.

Important Dates

  • Release of dataset and detailed instructions: February 1, 2021
  • Submission deadline: April 26, 2021
  • Register: Registration Link
  • Team registration to the organizer: March 15, 2021
  • Finalists Announcement: May 3, 2021
  • Final @ICASSP: June 6-11, 2021





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