Introduction to 4-bit Mode

Till now whatever we discussed in the previous part of ths LCD tutorial, we were dealing with 8-bit mode. Now we are going to learn how to use LCD in 4-bit mode. There are many reasons why sometime we prefer to use LCD in 4-bit mode instead of 8-bit. One basic reason is lesser number of pins are needed to interface LCD.

In 4-bit mode the data is sent in nibbles, first we send the higher nibble and then the lower nibble. To enable the 4-bit mode of LCD, we need to follow special sequence of initialization that tells the LCD controller that user has selected 4-bit mode of operation. We call this special sequence as resetting the LCD. Following is the reset sequence of LCD.
  1. Wait for abour 20mS
  2. Send the first init value (0x30)
  3. Wait for about 10mS
  4. Send second init value (0x30)
  5. Wait for about 1mS
  6. Send third init value (0x30)
  7. Wait for 1mS
  8. Select bus width (0x30 - for 8-bit and 0x20 for 4-bit)
  9. Wait for 1mS

The busy flag will only be valid after the above reset sequence. Usually we do not use busy flag in 4-bit mode as we have to write code for reading two nibbles from the LCD. Instead we simply put a certain ammount of delay usually 300 to 600uS. This delay might vary depending on the LCD you are using, as you might have a different crystal frequency on which LCD controller is running. So it actually depends on the LCD module you are using. So if you feel any problem running the LCD, simply try to increase the delay. This usually works. For me about 400uS works perfect.

LCD connections in 4-bit Mode




Above is the connection diagram of LCD in 4-bit mode, where we only need 6 pins to interface an LCD. D4-D7 are the data pins connection and Enable and Register select are for LCD control pins. We are not using Read/Write (RW) Pin of the LCD, as we are only writing on the LCD so we have made it grounded permanently. If you want to use it.. then you may connect it on your controller but that will only increase another pin and does not make any big difference. Potentiometer RV1 is used to control the LCD contrast. The unwanted data pins of LCD i.e. D0-D3 are connected to ground.

LCD connections in 4-bit Mode

We will now look into the common steps to send data/command to LCD when working in 4-bit mode. As i already explained in 4-bit mode data is sent nibble by nibble, first we send higher nibble and then lower nibble. This means in both command and data sending function we need to saperate the higher 4-bits and lower 4-bits.


The common steps are:
  1. Mask lower 4-bits
  2. Send to the LCD port
  3. Send enable signal
  4. Mask higher 4-bits
  5. Send to LCD port
  6. Send enable signal

We are done with the theory part now, In the next section we will take a look at the programming microcontroller to control LCD in 4-bit mode.

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ExperimenterUK
Wed May 25 2016, 05:05 AM
@ Ramanjaneyulu, post in forum,explain your problem
Mon May 23 2016, 11:34 PM
Ramanjaneyulu
Hi, I Am using at89c4051 for my application, I want 5u sec dely.. Up to 1milli sec iam able to producing delay. Beyond the 1milli second, I am unable to produce the acceurate dely. Plz any one help me
Sat May 21 2016, 09:51 PM
A K
i want to mak an auto dialer using gsm and atmega 16. please helpe me how to write a code to auto dial a number saved in sim
Sat May 21 2016, 10:42 AM
Alec
Hi im trying to program my 89s51 with a usbasp so any ideas on the circuit?
Wed May 18 2016, 10:08 AM
Tashu joshi
anyone know how to develop
Wed May 18 2016, 10:07 AM
Tashu joshi
i'm working for resporatry system using 8051,
Wed May 18 2016, 10:06 AM
Tashu joshi
i'm developing a respiratory system using Arduino
Fri May 13 2016, 11:03 AM
MEGHANA
i need c code for counting frequency of two sensors and compare these frequencies and it has to give high/ low signal after comparision
ExperimenterUK
Tue May 10 2016, 05:02 PM
@Suren ..create a thread in the 8051 Discussion Forum to discuss your problem
Tue May 10 2016, 04:04 PM
Suren Avushyan
how can I increment address not the content of it, like 0x70 and get 0x71

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zaft93
Sun May 15 2016, 01:52 AM
CELEBI
Thu May 12 2016, 08:28 AM
Suro1996
Wed May 11 2016, 06:07 PM
yigithan
Sat May 07 2016, 09:09 PM
jaque
Fri May 06 2016, 07:51 PM
afzal42
Wed May 04 2016, 11:16 AM
pd
Sun May 01 2016, 01:35 AM
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ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Sun May 15 2016, 10:58 PM
zaft93 Avatar
Posted By zaft93
Sun May 15 2016, 01:55 AM
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Fri May 13 2016, 07:59 PM
If you want only one relay to be on at a time the ...
CELEBI Avatar
Posted By CELEBI
Fri May 13 2016, 06:16 AM
Yes. It must be as you said. It must be 1.5 second...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Thu May 12 2016, 08:35 PM
Here is one way.If you have the Keil compiler you ...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Thu May 12 2016, 05:20 PM
Sorry I don't understand what you want.Is that 1.5...
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Posted By CELEBI
Thu May 12 2016, 08:53 AM
Hello Guys, I want to make a Project with 89s51 bu...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Wed May 11 2016, 09:28 PM
No this is all I've got, the algorithm I think is ...
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Posted By Suro1996
Wed May 11 2016, 09:27 PM
Is this all the code you have ?As it is, it will n...
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Posted By Suro1996
Wed May 11 2016, 07:31 PM
Hello, I am new to assembly programming and I am h...