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This paper presents a compression/decompression scheme based on selective Huffman coding for reducing the amount of test data that must be stored on a tester and transferred to each core in a system-on-a-chip (SOC) during manufacturing test. The test data bandwidth between the tester and the SOC is a bottleneck that can result in long test times when testing complex SOCs that contain many cores. In the proposed scheme, the test vectors for the SOC are stored in compressed form in the tester memory and transferred to the chip where they are decompressed and applied to the cores. A small amount of on-chip circuitry is used to decompress the test vectors. Given the set of test vectors for a core, a modified Huffman code is carefully selected so that it satisfies certain properties. These properties guarantee that the codewords can be decoded by a simple pipelined decoder (placed at the serial input of the core's scan chain) that requires very small area. Results indicate that the proposed scheme can provide test data compression nearly equal to that of an optimum Huffman code with much less area overhead for the decoder.