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This paper describes a new compression/decompression methodology for using an embedded processor to test the other components of a system-on-a-chip (SoC). The deterministic test vectors for each core are compressed using matrix-based operations that significantly reduce the amount of test data that needs to be stored on the tester. The compressed data is transferred from the tester to the processor's on-chip memory. The processor executes a program which decompresses the data and applies it to the scan chains of each core-under-test. The matrix-based operations that are used to decompress the test vectors can be performed very efficiently by the embedded processor thereby allowing the decompression program to be very fast and provide high throughput of the test data to minimize test time. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach provides greater compression than previous methods.