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Reed-Solomon (RS) codes play an important role in providing the error correction and the data integrity in various communication/storage applications. For high-speed applications, most RS decoders are implemented as dedicated application-specified integrated circuits (ASICs) based on parallel architectures, which can deliver high data throughput rate. For lower-speed applications, the RS decoding operations are usually performed by using fine-grained processing elements (PE) controlled by a programmable digital signal processing (DSP) core, which provides high flexibility. In this paper, we propose a novel m-PE multi-symbol-sliced (MSS) RS datapath structure. The m-PE RS architecture is a highly scalable design and can be dynamically reconfigured at 1-PE, 2-PE,...,m/2-PE, and m-PE modes to deliver necessary data throughput rate. With the help of the gated-clock scheme to turn off the idle PEs, the proposed runtime configurable ASIC design provides good tradeoff between the data throughput rate and the power consumption. Hence, it can save energy to extend the battery life of the portable devices. We demonstrate a prototyping design using 4 PEs by using UMC 0.18-/spl mu/m CMOS technology. The design can be dynamically reconfigured to be operated at 1-PE, 2-PE, and 4-PE modes, with performance of 140 Mb/s at 18.91 mW, 280 Mb/s at 28.77 mW, and 560 Mb/s at 48.47 mW, respectively. Compared with existing RS designs, the proposed m-PE RS decoder has better normalized area/power efficiency than most DSP-type and ASIC-type RS designs. The reconfigurable feature makes our design a good candidate for the error control coding (ECC) unit of the storage system in power-aware portable devices.