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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Conversation

Wed Feb 22 2017, 06:14 AM
ChollyMo
Indeed, on the LCD tutorial, many missing Tables and figures !!
Wed Feb 22 2017, 06:06 AM
ChollyMo
I don't see any Table 3. I'm using Chrome.
Fri Feb 03 2017, 05:56 AM
irfan shaikh
hi, i want interface WS2811 pixel led using NUVOTON N79E352, but i dont know how to code it. can anyone help me or provide me sample coding for interfacing WS2811 PIXEL LED. THNX
Thu Jan 19 2017, 08:42 PM
abhays
Hi...i have made a circuit for interfacing PT100 with LM358 whose temperature is shown on the LCD...But the temperature is not getting incresed slowly ..a small change directly increses the temp...can any one help me
Thu Jan 19 2017, 04:27 PM
roba
send me alarm clock simulation using proteus software
Mon Jan 16 2017, 03:15 PM
Rutuja
How can we read notepad file using random acess file
Fri Jan 06 2017, 06:18 AM
muhammad Umar
i need cd4047 library file for protious please help me i s
ExperimenterUK
Wed Jan 04 2017, 09:01 PM
@Emin what is your site user name ?
Tue Jan 03 2017, 11:16 PM
Emin
Emin: I'm already a member since 2012 and entered repeatedly during period. But now it is impossible and obtaining a new registration is also failed. The same error message specifying that two e-mails i entered are different!. In fact thaey are the same. Now, what will be happen, what is your solution? Thanks..
Tue Jan 03 2017, 11:15 PM
Emin
I'm already a member since 2012 and entered repeatedly during period. But now it is impossible and obtaining a new registration is also failed. The same error message specifying that two e-mails i entered are different!. In fact thaey are the same. Now, what will be happen, what is your solution? Thanks..

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The syntax should be like thisREC READ :"number w...
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The syntax should be like thisREC READ :"number w...
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This is the proteus simulation and the code.. we a...
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HiThis is what we get on the lcd when we burn the ...
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HiThis is what we get on the lcd when we burn the ...
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Thank you when we send a message the message is no...
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Thank you when we send a message the message is no...
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I made a few changes to make programming easier.Re...