The paper for which Kee Sup and his co-author, Subhasish Mitra, were honored is titled “X-Compact: An Efficient Response Compaction Technique for Test Cost Reduction.” Kee Sup and Subhasish’s paper in the area of design for test affected adjacent academic disciplines such as coding theory. Coding theorists started a series of work called X-code based on their work, and a prominent professor from Stanford called Kee Sup and Subhasish’s work the best innovation in test since the invention of the scan. The Richard Newton award in 2014 wasn’t the only award they received for this work. In 2005, Kee Sup and Subhasish received the Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Award, which recognizes the best paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems.
Kee Sup summarizes his award-winning paper in this way: “The award is based on our work on response compaction in the presence of X. When there are unknown signals (Xs) present in a design, it is difficult to compact output due to X masking error responses, and it can affect test quality. We have proven that with our construction approach, we can build a very simple circuit (equivalent of 2 XOR gates per output) and exponentially reduce the number of outputs that we need to observe without affecting quality. We applied a similar idea on the input side as well to get exponential reduction in test time. Due to this, it achieved test cost savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the company we worked for and was used by many others in the industry as well. In the paper cited, we had mathematically shown that our approach was the absolute minimum that can be done.”
Secrets to Success
For anyone who has a chance to meet Kee Sup, the question to ask is, “What is your secret to success?” Kee Sup doesn’t hesitate in his response. “Play to your strengths, learn to analyze the tasks and expand the scope to solve even bigger problems,” Kee Sup says. These are elements of WOW! Projects, introduced by Tom Peters in his 1994 book.
After Kee Sup learned about WOW! Projects as a senior manager, he applied what he learned to produce his winning paper in 2002—and at every opportunity. He even applied the principles during his spare time, coaching his son’s high school robotics team to three consecutive world championship appearances and an unofficial world record.
In essence, WOW! Projects look like this: “Projects that add value, projects that matter, projects that make a difference, projects that leave a legacy—and, yes, projects that make you a star.”
Congratulations to this Synopsys star, Kee Sup Kim!