M-ary Runlength Limited Coding and Signal Processing for Optical Data Storage

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Licona-Nunez, Jorge Estuardo
McLaughlin, Steven W.
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Recent attempts to increase the capacity of the compact disc (CD) and digital versatile disc (DVD) have explored the use of multilevel recording instead of binary recording. Systems that achieve an increase in capacity of about three times that of conventional CD have been proposed for production. Marks in these systems are multilevel and fixed-length as opposed to binary and variable length in CD and DVD. The main objective of this work is to evaluate the performance of multilevel ($M$-ary) runlength-limited (RLL) coded sequences in optical data storage. First, the waterfilling capacity of a multilevel optical recording channel ($M$-ary ORC) is derived and evaluated. This provides insight into the achievable user bit densities, as well as a theoretical limit against which simulated systems can be compared. Then, we evaluate the performance of RLL codes on the $M$-ary ORC. A new channel model that includes the runlength constraint in the transmitted signal is used. We compare the performance of specific RLL codes, namely $M$-ary permutation codes, to that of real systems using multilevel fixed-length marks for recording and the theoretical limits. The Viterbi detector is used to estimate the original recorded symbols from the readout signal. Then, error correction is used to reduce the symbol error probability. We use a combined ECC/RLL code for phrase encoding. We evaluate the use of trellis coded modulation (TCM) for amplitude encoding. The detection of the readout signal is also studied. A post-processing algorithm for the Viterbi detector is introduced, which ensures that the detected word satisfies the code constraints. Specifying the codes and detector for the $M$-ary ORC gives a complete system whose performance can be compared to that of the recently developed systems found in the literature and the theoretical limits calculated in this research.
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