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such as CD players, digital audio tape, digital TV, computer hard-disk
drives and many other applications rely on data compression algorithms,
the product of research funded, in part, by NSF more as a curiosity and
first used for satellite
In the early 1960s, researchers Reed and Solomon introduced ideas that
form the core of current error-correcting techniques
for everything from computers used with Voyager II satellite transmission
to CD players.
Reed-Solomon codes are used for error
correction in high-speed, high-density information processing.They
are particularly good at dealing with "bursts" of errors.
Current use of these codes in CD technology is able to cope with error
bursts of up to 4,000 consecutive bytes. Despite advantages, Reed-Solomon
codes did not go into use immediately, because technology had to make
advances. As technology caught up, many researchers began to work on implementing
University of California-Berkeley Professor Elwyn Berlekamp invented an
algorithm that decoded the Reed-Solomon code and is the basis for decoding
CD players. Compact discs use a version called cross-interleaved
Reed-Solomon code, or CIRC.
Thirty years after their invention, the wide application of these codes
has settled the question of their practicality and significance.