7 Segment LCD Displays

7 Segment LCD Displays allow the user to display any number in addition to several characters

When you need to display any number and some basic letters, 7 Segment LCD Displays are your best option. The 7 Segment can display letters such as A,C,E,F and a variety of others. Many times the product only needs to display basic information such as weight, time, gallons pumped, etc. This information does not require any type of graphics. In fact, the simpler the display, the better.

If you need your information to be simple and quick to read, then 7 Segment LCD Displays offer you the most basic option. Why would you use a high cost, color TFT display when all you need is to tell the person that the time is 3:30 PM.

Most 7 Segment LCD Displays also contain icons

Icons are chosen by the customer as a quick visual image or reminder. Many of the common icons used with include:

  • Battery indicator
  • AM/PM for clock or time tracking
  • F/C (Fahrenheit/Celsius)
  • Gallons/Liters
  • Pounds/KG

When designing your display the engineer or designer will choose the icons they need. If you are having the display customized to meet your design, you can add additional icons at no extra cost.

The Number of pins for 7 Segment LCD Displays can be reduced by multiplexing

As a general rule there is one pin or connection for every segment on a 7 Segment LCD Display. This is easy to work with and low cost if you only have one or two ‘7 Segment LCD Displays‘. The challenge begins when you need multiple segments and additional icons. The number of pins can quickly jump from 14 pins to 60+. The more pins you have in your design, the higher the unit cost and the more difficult to assemble your product.

One method to reduce the pin count is to use multiplexing. This is where you can have one pin address, or reference, four different segments. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this.

Advantages of multiplexing the 7 Segment LCD Displays:

  • You can reduce your pin count to roughly 1/4 of what a static/direct drive display would contain.
  • The labor cost and unit cost would be lower.
  • The less pins you have, the more durable your display to handle harsh environments.

Disadvantages of multiplexing the 7 Segment LCD Displays:

  • The contrast of the segments may not be as sharp.
  • Under extreme conditions you may experience a condition called ghosting. Although in the last few years, this has been mainly eliminated.

Every day it seems there is a new cutting edge LCD technology. People keep demanding more and more color and sharper contrast. But there are still many markets and products that avoid the ‘cutting edge’ display in favor of a simple, low cost, easy to read display.

All in all, there is still a strong demand for simple glass LCD displays that contain 7 Segment LCD Displays.