## Abstract

Maximum distance separable (MDS) codes are those codes whose minimum distance attains the Singleton bound for a given length and given dimension. It is a well-known fact that the only binary linear block codes that are MDS are the simple parity codes and the repetition codes. Known MDS codes (the Reed-Solomon codes, for instance) are defined over larger alphabets. This approach requires that (i) the encoding and decoding procedures are performed as operations over a finite field and (ii) an update in a single information bit (e.g. in storage applications) requires an update in the redundancy symbols and usually affects a number of bits in each redundancy symbol. Thus, the optimal redundancy is achieved at the expense of additional complexity in the encoding/decoding procedures as well as in the number of redundancy bits affected by an update in the information. We construct MDS codes that have the following two properties: (i) the redundancy bits are computed by simple XOR operations; and (ii) an update in an information bit affects a minimal number of redundancy bits. © 1994 IEEE.