A seven segment display is the most basic electronic display device that can display digits from 0-9. They find wide application in devices that display numeric information like digital clocks, radio, microwave ovens, electronic meters etc. The most common configuration has an array of eight LEDs arranged in a special pattern to display these digits. They are laid out as a squared-off figure ‘8’. Every LED is assigned a name from 'a' to 'h' and is identified by its name. Seven LEDs 'a' to 'g' are used to display the numerals while eighth LED 'h' is used to display the dot/decimal.
A seven segment is generally available in ten pin package. While eight pins correspond to the eight LEDs, the remaining two pins (at middle) are common and internally shorted. These segments come in two configurations, namely, Common cathode (CC) and Common anode (CA). In CC configuration, the negative terminals of all LEDs are connected to the common pins. The common is connected to ground and a particular LED glows when its corresponding pin is given high. In CA arrangement, the common pin is given a high logic and the LED pins are given low to display a number. Find out more information about a seven segment display and its working.
A seven-segment display (SSD) is a widely used electronic display device for displaying decimal numbers from 0 to 9. They are most commonly used in electronic devices like digital clocks, timers and calculators to display numeric information. As its name indicates, it is made of seven different illuminating segments which are arranged in such a way that it can form the numbers from 0-9 by displaying different combinations of segments. It is also able to form some alphabets like A, B, C, H, F, E, etc.
7 segment displays are among the simplest display units to display the numbers and characters. As shown in the above image of a 7-segment display, it consists of 8 LEDs, each LED used to illuminate one segment of unit and the 8thLED used to illuminate DOT in 7 segment display. We can refer each segment as a LINE, as we can see there are 7 lines in the unit, which are used to display a number/character. We can refer each segment "a,b,c,d,e,f,g" and for dot character we will use "h". There are 10 pins, in which 8 pins are used to refer a,b,c,d,e,f,g and h/dp, the two middle pins are common anode/cathode of all he LEDs. These common anode/cathode are internally shorted so we need to connect only one COM pin.
7 Segment Display Pinout
There are two types of 7 segment displays: Common Anode and Common Cathode:
Common Cathode: In this all the Negative terminals (cathode) of all the 8 LEDs are connected together (see diagram below), named as COM. And all the positive terminals are left alone.
Common Anode: In this all the positive terminals (Anodes) of all the 8 LEDs are connected together, named as COM. And all the negative thermals are left alone.
How to Display Numbers on 7 Segment Display?
If we want to display the number “0”, then we need to glow all the LEDs except LED which belongs to line “g” (see 7 segment pin diagram above, so we need a bit pattern 11000000. Similarly to display “1”we need to glow LEDs associated with b and c, so the bit pattern for this would be 11111001. A table has been given below for all the numbers while using Common Anode type 7 segment display unit.
Digit to Display
h g f e d c b a
To learn more about 7 segment display units, read below tutorials which explains the practical applications to use 7 segment displays:
Interfacing 7 segment display with 8051 microcontroller
0-99 counter with AVR mircontroller
Digital Dice using Arduino