A system for reading an information carrier having a data layer (101) on which is stored a data set. A probe array generating means (104) generates an array of light spots (102) which is applied to the data layer (101). The resultant output light beams are representative of the binary value of data stored in the data layer (101). Macro-cell scanning is effected in a single dimension by moving the array of light spots (102) relative to the data layer (101) along a path (A,B) which is non-parallel to the axes of the matrix defining the probe array. One-dimensional scanning results in a less complex system.
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