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                       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.



                     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.


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 pin outs.


  • 10.00mm (0.39”) Four digit and Over Seven Segment LED display series.
  • Low current operation.
  • Excellent character appearance.
  • Easy mounting on P.C. Boards or sockets.
  • I.C. Compatible.

Interface Specifications

       The Serial 7-Segment Display can be controlled in one of two ways:

      (1) serial TTL communication

      (2)SPI serial communication.

                    Regardless of which method you use to communicate with the display, you must always send your display data in 4-byte packets, and special commands in 2-byte packets.

Hardware Specifications

                    There are two methods of sending serial data to the Serial 7-Segment Display, TTL level serial communication or SPI.