This paper presents a low-complexity Reed-Solomon (RS) decoder design based on the modified Euclidean (ME) algorithm proposed by Truong. The low-complexity feature is achieved by first reformulating Truong's ME algorithm using the proposed polynomial manipulation scheme so that a more compact polynomial representation can be derived. Together with the developed folding scheme and the simplified boundary cell, the resulting design can effectively reduce the hardware complexity and meet the throughput requirement of optical communication systems. Compared with the related works, our development not only provides the minimum area requirement but also has the smallest area-time complexity. Experimental results demonstrate that the developed RS(255, 239) decoder, implemented in TSMC 0.18 μm process, can operate up to 430 MHz and achieve a throughput rate of 3.44 Gbps with a total gate count of 11,763.