Prof KO received his BS degree in Physics with special honors from the University of Hong Kong in 1974, and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, in 1978 and 1982 respectively.
In 1982 and 1983, he was at Bell Labs, Holmdel, leading a research team to develop high-speed MOS technologies for communication circuits. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1984. He was the Director of the Berkeley Microfabrication Laboratory from 1984 to 1993, and the Vice-Chairman of the Department of EECS from 1991 to 1993. He came to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in August 1993 as Visiting Professor in the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering until April 1995, and as Dean of Engineering from May 1995 through June 2000.
Prof KO has authored or co-authored one book and over 200 research papers. His works on MOS technology, MOS device physics and modeling, and integrated circuit reliability are renowned worldwide. He has extensive experience serving the industrial as well as the professional and academic communities. He was associate editor of the IEEE transaction on electron devices from 1988 to 1990, and was on the program committee of many major international conferences. He was the Chairman of HK Research Grants Council from January 1994 to July 1999, and a member of the UGC from April 1993 to March 1998. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers(HKIE).
From October 2000 to April 2003, Prof KO was on-leave from HKUST to serve as the Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Authosis Inc., a venture capital firm he co-founded. Authosis’s investment focus is in IC fables design companies in China. He returned to HKUST in May 2003, but is still actively involved in funding and assisting IC design companies in China. In 2003, he joined in Wearnes Technology Group and took on Chairman and President of Wearnes Semiconductor focusing on the semiconductor development in China and an idea of collection of various top-notch fablesss IC Design house called IC Federation entered his mind. In order to speed up the federation’s growth, Prof Ko actively negotiated with Wearnes Technology Group and bought off Wearnes Semiconductor through the new investor, Silicon Federation International (SFI), an offshore venture company which consists of more than 10 member companies and each of the investees is top-notch in its own area of specialization. Prof KO is also the President and CEO of SFI.