One of the best known 2D codes is the Data Matrix code and it consists of 4 main components:
- Data area: This area contains the data in codified form.
- Closed limitation line: This is the corner that is represented in normal alignment to the left and below the data area with an uninterrupted line. Based on this, the code and its alignment is recognized while scanning.
- Open borderline: This is the opposite corner of the “closed limitation line”. These lines (above and to the right) consist of alternating black and white dots. These are used to the determination of lines and columns while scanning.
- Quiet zone: This area surrounds the code. This area must be at least so wide as one dot of the code.
The development of the Data Matrix code started in the 80ies. Today there are different development steps, which differ in the error correction. These are name as ECC n. ECC is “Error Checking and Correction Algorithm” and that ‘n’ stands for a number. Basically there are two versions: ECC 000-140 and ECC 200. The current, most certain and recommended variant is ECC 200 (Reed-Solomon-Error correction). ActiveBarcode uses ECC 200 for the creation of the Data Matrix code. A Data Matrix code will be still readable when up to 25% of itself is covered or damaged.
A Data Matrix Code can encode up to 3116 numbers or up to 2335 characters. Different symbol sizes are used depending on the amount of data to be encoded.