EuroHack20: GPU Programming Hackathon

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre is pleased to announce that the sixth GPU-programming EuroHack will be held from September 28 to October 02, 2020 at the Hotel De La Paix  in Lugano, located in the Italian speaking area of Switzerland.


General-purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) potentially offer exceptionally high memory bandwidth and performance for a wide range of scientific applications. The challenge in utilizing such accelerators efficiently has been the difficulty in programming them. Today, these devices can be programmed using different programming models ranging from the low-level CUDA C/C++ programming API to the high-level directives-based programming modules, such as OpenACC or OpenMP, which offer straightforward compiler extensions to C, C++ and Fortran to address the programming hurdle. In-between these extremes, there are programming paradigms that use existing programming language feature sets to provide accelerator programming capabilities through carefully designed programming libraries, such as SYCL, Kokkos, HPX, RAJA.

Workshop Goal

EuroHack provides a unique opportunity for current or prospective users groups of large hybrid CPU-GPU systems to either (1) port their (potentially) scalable application to GPU accelerators, or (2) optimize an existing GPU-enabled application, on a state-of-the-art Tier-0 GPU system.  The goal is that the development teams leave at the end of the week with applications running on GPUs, or at least with a clear roadmap of how to get there.

Target Audience and Format

You form a team of minimum 2 to maximum 4 developers with mission to port or optimize your application on a cluster of GPU accelerators. You cannot find time during the year due to the demands of science and teaching and are looking for a retreat to accomplish this mission in a short, but extremely intense, time window. This is a great opportunity for grad students and post-docs.

Collectively the team should know the application intimately. There will be intensive mentoring during this 5-day hands-on workshop. Our mentors come from national laboratories, universities and vendors, and besides having extensive experience in programming GPGPUs, many of them develop the GPU-capable compilers and help define the OpenACC standard. Space will be limited to 8 teams, with 2 mentors for each team.

Ok, so how can we attend?

The application period is now open. The team coordinator needs to fill out the application at the NVIDIA GPU Hackathons website (please make sure that you apply to the “CSCS” hackathon) and give us as much information in the form as possible by July 12, 2020 (anywhere on Earth).  Groups will be notified about acceptance or rejection of their application by July 24, 2020. Please note that, in contrast to the on-line application form, we can only accept teams with 2–4 members.

Groups whose application successfully passes the selection process will need to register for the event to confirm participation within two weeks from notification of acceptance. The notification of acceptance will include information on how to register.

What applications is EuroHack targeting?

No application specifically, but preferably a scalable, distributed parallel one. We hope to have open-source community codes (preferably BSD or MIT licenses) in need of porting individual modules, i.e., with a well-defined subset of 2-10K lines of code with a validation test.  The latter is crucial for incremental development without introducing bugs.

So what is in it for the participants?

Besides your code running lightning fast on a hybrid CPU-GPU machine like CSCS Piz Daint? During the workshop, we will enable your amazing transformation to GPU programmer and present your team with a certificate in front of your admiring fans.  And you will be able to do all this in one of the most beautiful areas in central Europe.

Participation costs

Participation in the workshop is free of charge. The meeting room, lunches and one conference dinner, as well as access to the supercomputers throughout the event are offered by the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) and NVIDIA (an official event sponsor). Mentors and learning materials are provided by CSCS, NVIDIA and other partner organizations.

Participants are responsible for their travels to the meeting venue, their accommodation, four dinners during the week, and personal expenses. There are 40 rooms blocked for this event at the venue. Rooms range from CHF 149 (single) – 159 (double room for single use) per night per person with breakfast.


In order to offer a good atmosphere for a week of intense programming, we have chosen Hotel de la Paix in Lugano, Switzerland, only minutes by foot to the scenic Lake of Lugano. The region is served by Milan Malpensa airport (Italy) and by Zurich airport. The train timetable from either of these airports to Lugano main train station (“Lugano, stazione”) is available here. You should calculate a ride of 3 hours from Zurich airport, and of 2 to 3 hours from Milan Malpensa airport depending on the connection.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory

Please note that given the current COVID-19 situation in Switzerland and in the world, there is some uncertainty about the possibility to host the EuroHack at the end of September 2020. At the moment we are still hoping that the situation will be resolved by the beginning of the summer and preparations for the event continue based on this assumption. We will take a final decision on the hosting of the event by mid-July. In case in the following months the circumstances appear to compromise the hosting of the event, we will inform all applicants and update this page accordingly. The safety of the EuroHack participants is our top priority, and a decision on the possibility to host the event this year will be taken based on this key principle.

Whom can I contact for more information or questions?

Please contact Vasileios Karakasis ( for questions related to the EuroHack content, or Tatjana Ruefli ( for questions related to the workshop logistics.

For more information visit this webpage: