Reed-Solomon codes are used to perform Forward Error Correction. FEC encoders introduce redundancy in data before it is transmitted. The redundant data (check symbols) are transmitted along with the original data through the channel. A Reed-Solomon decoder at the receiver is used to recover any corrupted data. This type of error correction is widely used in data communications applications such as hard disk and media storage (CD) systems, Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) and Optical Carriers (e.g. OC-192).
The codes are represented by the format RS(n,k) where n is the total number of s-bit wide symbols, and k is the number of s-bit wide information (data) symbols in a codeword. The Reed-Solomon Decoder performs detection and correction of encoded data available at the receiver after demodulation. The RS encoded data is then processed to determine whether any errors have occurred during transmission. Once the number of errors is determined, the decoder decides if they are within the range of correction. After determining this, the decoder corrects the errors in the received data