ISCA used to publish retrospective evaluations of deployed hardware systems from industry that were influential and widely read. A recent blog post studied 2000+ architecture papers of the ISCAs from 1973-2018, and observed a decline of papers by first authors from industry. Moreover, while research groups in computer architecture (like at IBM, Intel, and NVIDIA) may have as much support for architectural exploration and publication as academic ones, product projects certainly don’t. Few industrial product architects have permission (let alone time or motivation) to write ISCA papers.

Many see great value in papers about working hardware that put novel ideas together that must work well together to help us understand the difficulty, cost, and performance of the ideas and the overall system. Such papers are unlikely to be accepted by the current ISCA reviewing ecosystem, since they are so different. Retrospective industrial product papers remain valuable complements to academic research papers, so we are experimenting with a new mechanism to encourage their return. While a worthy experiment, we should revisit the concept in 3 to 5 years to see if it works. If not, we would end it, and look at other ways to broaden participation.

At a Glance

  • First author, and most authors, must be from industry
  • Not for student internship projects
  • Submissions do not need to be anonymized for review
  • All ISCA formatting guidelines apply (11 pages without references, 10pt font)
  • Abstract Deadline: January 23, 2020 at noon PST
  • Full Paper Deadline: January 30, 2020 at noon PST

Upload Abstracts and Papers to Industry Track HotCRP


Here are the guidelines for the ISCA industry track (which will represent less than 10% of the papers at ISCA, so likely a single session at the conference):
  • The papers ideally include retrospective evaluations of real working products rather than speculation about hardware that might be built. A secondary target is papers on planned products that were cancelled but present interesting insights or lessons learned.
  • The first and virtually all authors of such papers must work in industry. This target is not intended for intern projects where a student spends a summer in industry and writes a paper about it. Papers that don’t match guidelines will be rejected without review.
  • As industry papers need to be approved by management (often involving multiple rounds of redaction) before they can be submitted, and there can be restrictions about filing patents before submitting a paper, a later deadline greatly increases the chances of receiving such papers. The abstract deadline is Thursday, January 23, 2020 at noon PST, and the paper deadline is Thursday, January 30, 2020 at noon PST.
  • These papers do not need to be anonymized for double blind reviewing. Reviewers want to know which product is being evaluated and which company is writing the paper.
  • All formatting guidelines for the general submission (including page limits) must also be followed by any paper submitted to the industry track.

2020 Industry Track Program Committee

Industry track papers will have a separate program committee to evaluate them, who understand the constraints of publishing papers on hardware from industry. The papers would still be held to the same high ISCA standards, but the program committee will recognize that company concerns about patent trolls or trade secrets may mean some details are not revealed.


David Patterson Google; UC Berkeley


Committee Member Affiliation
Carole-Jean Wu ASU
Caroline Trippel Stanford
Chris Hughes Intel
Joel Emer MIT
Mark Hill Wisconsin
Olivier Temam DeepMind
Sophia Shao UC Berkeley
Yuan Xie Alibaba