Irregular Product Codes
We introduce irregular product codes, a class of codes where each codeword is represented by a matrix and the entries in each row (column) of the matrix come from a component row (column) code. As opposed to standard product codes, we do not require that all component row codes nor all component column codes be the same. Relaxing this requirement can provide some additional attractive features such as allowing some regions of the codeword to be more error-resilient, providing a more refined spectrum of rates for finite lengths, and improved performance for some of these rates. We study these codes over erasure channels and prove that for any 0 < ε < 1, for many rate distributions on component row codes, there is a matching rate distribution on component column codes such that an irregular product code based on MDS codes with those rate distributions on the component codes has asymptotic rate 1 - ε and can decode on erasure channels having erasure probability <; ε (and having alphabet size equal to the alphabet size of the component MDS codes).