Design Guidelines of Low-Density Parity-Check Codes for Magnetic Recording Systems

Yi Fang, Guojun Han, Guofa Cai, Chung Ming Lau, Pingping Chen, Yong Liang Guan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


As one of the most classical data-storage systems, magnetic recording (MR) systems have attracted a significant amount of research attention in the past several decades due to the advantages of low cost and high storage density. Along with the continual increase of areal density of modern MR devices, more severe inter-symbol interference (ISI) and noise appear and thus reliable storage becomes more difficult. To address this challenging problem, turbo detections and error-correction codes (ECCs) have been applied to MR systems so as to significantly improve the overall data-storage reliability. Among all the existing ECCs, low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes are of particular interest because they can offer excellent error performance with relatively low encoding and decoding complexity. This paper presents a comprehensive survey of the latest research advancements in LDPC-code design for MR systems from the perspectives of code construction, decoder design, as well as asymptotic performance-evaluation methodology. More specifically, we summarize the design guidelines of LDPC encoder and decoder over both one-dimensional (OD) ISI and two-dimensional (TD) ISI channels, which are commonly used to characterize MR systems with different areal densities. We also concisely portray the research progress in the design of some LDPC-code variants, such as protograph codes, repeat-accumulate codes, spatially coupled codes, and their non-binary counterparts over the aforementioned ISI channels. In particular, we restrict our attention to the reading process and ignore the written-in errors in MR systems unless otherwise stated. Hopefully, this survey will inspire more research activities in the area of LDPC-coded MR systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1574-1606
Number of pages33
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Asymptotic performance
  • asymptotic weight distribution (AWD)
  • density evolution (DE)
  • extrinsic information transfer (EXIT)
  • inter-symbol interference (ISI)
  • low-density parity-check (LDPC) codes
  • magnetic recording (MR)
  • turbo detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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