Seven segment display

Topics: Display technology, Cathode, Nixie tube Pages: 8 (1009 words) Published: March 2, 2014
Seven-Segment LED Displays

Nicholas Neumann
11/19/2010

Abstract
Seven-segment displays are electronic display devices used as an easy way to display decimal numerals and an alterative to the more complex dot-matrix displays. The LDS-C303RI, a common seven-segment display, will be examined. Common anode vs. common cathode will be outlined. LED drivers such as the CD74HC4511E will also be discussed. Design applications such as digital clocks and electronic meters will be covered briefly.

Keywords: Seven-Segment, LED Display, Common Anode/Cathode, Drivers, LDS-C303RI, CD74HC4511E

Introduction
Seven-segment displays first became widely used as a popular way of displaying numbers. Today they are used as displays in home appliances, cars, and various digital devices. The LDS-C303RI is commonly used in many designs, it includes seven LED bars aligned in a figure eight pattern as seen in Figure 1. It is capable of displaying the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F by lighting the appropriate segments. This is typically controlled by a driver like the CD74HC4511E.

Figure 1: Seven-Segment Layout

Objective
The following will detail the necessary requirements to implement a display into a circuit. This application note will also provide the basic functionality of a seven-segment display. In terms of hardware, the implementation of the display into a counter using a CD74HC4511E driver will be discussed. Schematics are included in order to explicitly show the correct implementation of the display into a simple binary counter.

Methods
Seven-Segment Display
When dealing with seven-segment displays, there are two types. Common anode and common cathode; in common anode all the anodes on the display are tied to a common pin, typically the power source, and the LED are controlled via the cathodes with ground being on and power being off. In common cathode all the cathodes are tied to a common pin, in this case generally ground, and the LED are driven by the state of the anodes where ground is off and power is on.

Hence a seven-segment plus decimal point package will only require nine pins, though commercial products typically contain more pins in order to match industry standard pinouts. See Figure 2 and 3 for reference.

Figure 2: Common Anode

Figure 3: Common Cathode

A simple truth table can be used to show how to display each number and letter. This can be seen in Table 1. For example, it can be seen that if a 0 is wanted to be displayed the a-f LED segments need to be turned on while the g segment is off. Note that B and D are displayed as b and d; this is done to obtain a unique, unambiguous shape for each letter. Otherwise, a capital D would look identical to a 0 and a capital B would look identical to an 8. Number

a

b

c

d

e

f

g

0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

On
Off
On
On
Off
On
Off
On
On

On
On
On
On
On
Off
Off
On
On

On
On
Off
On
On
On
On
On
On

On
Off
On
On
Off
On
On
Off
On

On
Off
On
Off
Off
Off
On
Off
On

On
Off
Off
Off
On
On
On
Off
On

Off
Off
On
On
On
On
On
Off
On

9
A
B
C
D
E
F

On
On
Off
On
Off
On
On

On
Off
Off
On
On
On
Off
On
Off
On
On
On
Off
Off
On
On
On
On
On
On
Off
Off
On
On
Off
Off
Off
On
Table 1: Seven-Segment Truth Table

On
On
On
On
Off
On
On

On
On
On
Off
On
On
On

Display Driver
Controlling a seven-segment display will require eight pins for most displays and nine pins if it has a decimal point. This adds a lot of wiring to the circuit; however the use of a display driver can simplify this by reducing the number of pins required to four. A display driver is a simple logic based device that is passed a 4-bit binary input which is decoded and translated into the correct pin values for the display, see Appendix for chip schematic. So if we wanted the display to show a C representing the number 12 we would pass it the 4-bit...

References: 1. LDS-C303RI Data Sheet. Lumex Incorporated. May 1997.
2. CD74HC4511E BCD-To-7 Segment Latch/Decoder/Drivers Datasheet. Texas Insturments.
October 2003.
3. “Fundamentals of Seven Segment Displays.” Electronic Project Design. Web. 19 Nov.
2010. .
4. Wood, Vincent. “Numitron Readout: Simplified Seven-Segment Display in One Tube.”
Decode Systems. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. .
5. “BCD Decoder.” Diagram. Web. 19 Nov. 2010.
.
Appendix
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