Types of 7 Segment Displays and Controlling Ways

Seven segment displays are the output display devices that provide a way to display information in the form of image or text. For displaying the images or text in a proper manner, some types of  displays can show only alphanumeric characters and digits. But, some displays can also show characters and images. Most commonly used displays along with the microcontrollers are LCD, LEDs and seven segment displays,etc.

Seven Segment Display
Seven Segment Display

Seven Segment Display

The seven segment display is the most common display device used in many gadgets, and electronic appliances like digital meters, digital clocks, microwave oven and electric stove, etc. These displays consist of seven segments of light emitting diodes (LEDs)  and that is assembled into a structure like numeral 8. Actually seven segment displays contain about 8-segments wherein an extra 8th segment is used to display dot. This segment is useful while displaying non integer number. Seven segments are indicated as A-G and the eighth segment is indicated as H. These segments are arranged in the form of 8 which is shown in the seven segment display circuit diagram.

7 segment Display Pin Diagram
7 segment Display Pin Diagram

A seven segment displays are generally available in ten pin package. In that 8 pins relate to the 8 LEDs, the remaining pins at middle are internally shorted. These segments come in two outlines they are common cathode and common anode. In common cathode configuration, the negative terminals are connected to the common pins and the common is connected to the ground. When the corresponding pin is given high,then particular LED glows.In a common anode arrangement, the common pin is given to a logic high and the pins of the LED are given low to display a number.

Seven Segment Display Working

When the power is given to all the segments, then the number 8 will be displayed. If you disconnect the power for segment G (that means 7) then that will result number 0. The circuit of the seven segment display is designed in such a way that the voltage at different pins can be applied at the same time. In the same way,  you can form the combinations to display numerals from 0 to 9. Practically, seven segment displays are available with two structures, both the type of displays consists of 10 pins.

The numeric seven segment displays can also display other characters. But generally A-G and L, T, O, S and others are also available. Some problems may occur with the H, X, 2, and  Z. Anyways the common seven segment display is numeric only. Alphanumeric displays are also available but cost is little more. These types of displays still have a real purpose due to its high illumination and 7 segment displays are used in dark areas like railway stations. Even 7 segment display based countdown display is used in NASA, which can be read easily even in sunlight.

Types of 7-Segment Displays

There are two types of seven segment displays available in the market. According to the type of application, these displays can be used. The two configurations of seven segment displays are discussed below.

  • Common Anode Display
  • Common Cathode Display
7- Segment Display Configuration
7- Segment Display Configuration

Common Cathode 7-segment Display

In this type of display, all the cathode connections of  the LED segments are connected together to logic 0 or ground. The separate segments are lightened by applying the logic 1 or HIGH signal through a current limiting resistor to forward bias the individual anode terminals a to g.

Common Cathode 7-segment Display
Common Cathode 7-segment Display

Common Anode 7-segment Display

In this type of display, all the anode connections of the LED segments are connected together to logic 1. The separate segments are lightened by applying of  the logic 0 or LOW signal through a current limiting resistor to the  cathode of the particular segment a to g.

Common Anode 7-segment Display
Common Anode 7-segment Display

Therefore, common anode seven segment displays are very popular as many logic circuits can sink more current than they can source. These displays are not a direct replacement in a circuit for a common anode display, as  it is the same as connecting the LEDs in reverse, and hence the light emission will not take place. Depending upon the decimal number displayed, the particular set of LEDs is forward biased. For instance, to display the numerical number 0, we need to light up remaining segments corresponding to a, b, c, d, e and f. Then the digits from 0 through 9 can be displayed using a seven segment display.

Seven Segment Display Controlling Ways:

There are different types of controlling techniques that are implemented by interfacing these seven segment displays with the external controlling devices. Seven segment displays must be controlled by other external devices. Different types of microcontrollers are very useful to communicate with external devices like keypads, memory, switches, etc. There are numerous interfacing techniques that have been developed to solve the complex problems to communicate with displays.

Interfacing 7-Segment Display Circuit Diagram

Interfacing 7-Segment Display Circuit Diagram
Interfacing 7-Segment Display Circuit Diagram

Source Code:

#include<reg51.h> sbit a= P3^0; void main() { unsigned char n[10]=

{0×40,0xF9,0×24,0×30,0×19,0×12,0×02,0xF8,0xE00,0×10}; unsigned int i,j; a=1; while(1) { for(i=0;i<10;i++) { P2=n[i]; for(j=0;j<60000;j++); } } }

Applications of Seven Segment Displays are these displays are commonly used in  timers, clock radios, digital clocks, calculators and wristwatches. These devices can also be found in speedometers, motor-vehicle odometers, and radio frequency indicators. Practically, any other display that makes use of alphanumeric characters alone. Some seven-segment displays produce an italicize set of characters.

Therefore, This is all about the seven segment displays, types of seven segment displays and its controlling ways.The usage of seven segment displays is very limited due to the advancement in display technologies,Now, the Dot matrix display is mostly being displayed in the place of the seven segment displays, yet the seven segment displays are still a good starting point to read about display technologies.Furthermore, for any queries regarding this article you can contact by commenting in the comment section below.

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4 Comments

  1. Is there any physical appearance difference between common anode and common cathode Seven segment Display

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi,

      I sincerely appreciate your kind response regarding my article

      And once again please visit our domestic website https://www.elprocus.com/. Hope you will find a solution for your query.

  2. aarish qureshi says:

    which type of seven segment is commonly used cathode type or anode type????

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Aarish Qureshi
      As per your query you can use any segment based on your requirement
      And please visit our website once https://www.elprocus.com/

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