LCD-Electronic Display Module-16 x 2 Character Liquid Crystal Display

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen is an electronic display module and find a wide range of applications. A 16x2 LCD display is very basic module and is very commonly used in various devices and circuits. These modules are preferred over seven segments and other multi segment LEDs.The reasons being: LCDs are economical; easily programmable; have no limitation of displaying special & even custom characters (unlike in seven segments), animations and so on.
A 16x2 LCD means it can display 16 characters per line and there are 2 such lines. In this LCD each character is displayed in 5x7 pixel matrix. This LCD has two registers, namely, Command and Data.

The command register stores the command instructions given to the LCD. A command is an instruction given to LCD to do a predefined task like initializing it, clearing its screen, setting the cursor position, controlling display etc. The data register stores the data to be displayed on the LCD. The data is the ASCII value of the character to be displayed on the LCD. Click to learn more about internal structure of a LCD.

LCD display takes a time of 39-43µS to place a character or execute a command. Except for clearing display and to seek cursor to home position it takes 1.53ms to 1.64ms. Any attempt to send any data before this interval may lead to failure to read data or execution of the current data in some devices. Some devices compensate the speed by storing the incoming data to some temporary registers.
LCD displays have two RAMs, naming DDRAM and CGRAM. DDRAM registers in which position which character in the ASCII chart would be displayed. Each byte of DDRAM represents each unique position on the LCD display. The LCD controller reads the information from the DDRAM and displays it on the LCD screen. CGRAM allows user to define their custom characters. For that purpose, address space for first 16 ASCII characters are reserved for users. After CGRAM has been setup to display characters, user can easily display their custom characters on the LCD screen.

8-bit and 4-bit interfacing of LCD-There is two modes of data transfer are supported by LCD displays. One is 4 bit mode, another is 8 bit mode. To transfer data In 8 bit mode, first put your data in the 8 bit bus, then put command in the command bus and then pulse the enable signal.

To send data in 4 bit mode; first put upper 4bit in the 4 bit data bus connected to 4 MSB pins of LCD display, then put control signals in the control bus, then pulse the E pin once. Next put the lower 4 bit in the data bus and pulse the E pin again. Here is a flowchart simply describing it.

It is an electronically-modulated optical device made up of any number of pixels filled with liquid crystals

A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a thin, flat electronic visual display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals (LCs).

They are used in a wide range of applications including: computer monitors, television, instrument panels, aircraft,cockpit display, signage, etc.

LCDs are more energy efficient and offer safer disposal than CRTs

It is an electronically modulated device made up of any number of pixels filled with liquid crystals

Technical Parametrs:

• 5 x 8 dots with cursor

• Built-in controller (KS 0066 or Equivalent)

• + 5V power supply (Also available for + 3V)

• 1/16 duty cycle

• B/L to be driven by pin 1, pin 2 or pin 15, pin 16 or A.K (LED)

• N.V. optional for + 3V power supply

Download 16X2 LCD Data Sheet Here.


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  1. I think it's really interesting to be able to break down lcd displays like this. it really is interesting to see the way they work. I know that I would definitely want to have this information for myself. Hopefully people will be able to do find ways to get themselves the help they need when it comes to something like this. Finding this information could definitely fall into that category. Hopefully this becomes more common in the near future.

  2. We Always appreciate our Readers Feedback.
    @shirlsw12 We would love to help you out if you get stuck somewhere.

  3. This is a nice read on LCD. LCD has gone a long way!

    1. +Charles @ Iled Menus Hope You guys Enjoyed reading our Articles.Keep visiting and give your valuable feedback.

  4. Good episodes for Tips and Tricks on Improving Share Point 2007. Thank you for posting and sharing this information.

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  5. Hope You guys Enjoyed reading our Articles.Keep giving your valuable feedback.

  6. What an information article. Understanding LCD screens has been on my list for a while. I have always been fascinated by them and figured that if I am going to put them in my home, I would like to know how they work. I really appreciate this because it gave me a pretty comprehensive overview of what all is involved.

    Brian Hopkins @ Microtips USA

    1. @Brian Thank You for your feedback.We are happy that our Blog Log is catering to the requirement of readers.Keep Visiting us for more content.

  7. As a non-technical male, I didn't even know the differences between LED and LCD, which you've now explained to me, so thank you for that. It's fascinating to see how LCD works behind the scenes when we mostly just take it for granted without really understanding the complicated elements that go on. You've produced an excellent resource, so well done!

    Raymond @ CKS Global Solutions LTD

    1. Thanks for your appreciation.We would try to do our best to upgrade and provide best material for our readers.Keep visiting our blog.


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