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World Leader in Computer Hardware Testing to Receive Top Technology Award
The IEEE has named Jacob A. Abraham, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin as recipient of the 2005 IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award. The prize honors Abraham for his contributions to the development of reliable and testable hardware systems.
Sponsored by the IEEE Emanuel L. Piore Award Fund, the award recognizes outstanding contributions in the field of information processing in relation to computer science. Abraham received the award at the 2005 IEEE International Test Conference on 8 November in Austin, Texas.
Test generation techniques developed by Abraham have allowed the microchip industry to achieve economical defect detection in manufactured chips. A self-test method of his work is being used by the Intel Corporation to improve testing for the Pentium 4 processor. The algorithm-based fault tolerance (ABFT) technique he invented during his tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is now standard practice for providing application-level fault tolerance in many space-borne applications.
His contributions to an array of computer-related areas range from defect testing in integrated circuits to system-level methods for fault tolerance in numerical computations. He developed his hierarchical test generation methods for complex chips at the University of Texas.
Abraham’s work has provided significant improvements in test generation time and quality for complex chips. The techniques he has developed allow systems to work correctly, despite components failures, by continuously checking computational results. His work in the functional testing of microprocessors has become integral to the testing of complex digital designs, and his ideas in ABFT started a new branch of research in the area of reliable systems.
Abraham has served on numerous IEEE technical conference committees as program chair and as general chair. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kerala and his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in California.
He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery, and has published more than 300 papers. His early papers on ABFT are considered seminal and were published by the IEEE Computer Society in its compendium of the “best papers of the past 25 years in fault tolerance.” His many honors include the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering at the University of Texas, the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Inventor Recognition Award and the IEEE Computer Society Technical Activities Board Award.
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