The requirements for data transmission have changed out of all recognition since the early days of computing where the goal was simply to make something that worked. Today that’s the easy part.
The Reed Solomon codes are defined by what the decoder expects to see and the encoder has to be configured to suit that.
The explosion in digital technology that led to Compact Discs, DVD, personal computers, digital cameras, the Internet and digital television broadcasting relies heavily on a small number of enabling technologies, one of which is the use of Reed-Solomon error correcting codes.
The first burst error correcting code was the Fire Code, which was once widely used on hard disk drives. Here we look at how it works and how it was used.
The CRC (cyclic redundancy check) was primarily an error detector, but it did allow some early error correction systems to be implemented.
There are many different CRCs but they all work in much the same way, which is that the data to be protected are divided by the CRC polynomial. This was done serially by shifting the data bits into the CRC generator at the same time as they were being written to a medium such as disk or tape or sent into a serial transmission line.
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