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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ajay_bhargav
Fri Dec 12 2014, 04:38 AM
@Abdul BAsit, Post in forum please. We will help you.
Wed Dec 10 2014, 06:41 PM
Abdul BAsit
I am working on smoke detector using AT89S52 and dont know how its wors..kindly send me circuit diagram and code for its hardware & software implementation
Tue Dec 09 2014, 11:30 AM
Irinel
Please send me the content of that cd-rom (embedded c - michael j pont. Thank you.
Tue Dec 09 2014, 02:45 AM
kmyo
please give me the operation of 12v trickle charger
Sun Dec 07 2014, 07:50 AM
hidawi
we need the circuit diagrom of the remote control of iduction motor by android appliction
PsySc0rpi0n
Tue Dec 02 2014, 10:30 AM
I have no idea... I'm new to micro controllers
Tue Dec 02 2014, 08:35 AM
samarnath dev
how can usb key bord interfasing to dot matrx led moving, by asm51 ?
Tue Dec 02 2014, 08:32 AM
samarnath dev
how can usb key bord interfasing to 8051 by asm code?
Fri Nov 28 2014, 06:31 AM
babar
aoa ,, i need a project for 8051 microcontroler can some one plz give me the pdf form of this project android control robot
Fri Nov 28 2014, 06:30 AM
babar
hi

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software_developer Avatar
Posted By software_developer
Fri Dec 19 2014, 04:54 AM
Which files i have to use?Please give me .zip fold...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Fri Dec 19 2014, 12:21 AM
This version works.Edit it to use either method. ...
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Posted By sankalp_s
Thu Dec 18 2014, 08:40 PM
SIR THIS CODE IS NOT WORKING.. ORG 000H ; starting...
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Posted By sankalp_s
Thu Dec 18 2014, 08:36 PM
i've tried this code but faced a syntax error on l...
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Posted By sankalp_s
Thu Dec 18 2014, 08:32 PM
SIR THIS CODE IS NOT WORKING.. ORG 000H ; starting...
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Posted By ajay_bhargav
Thu Dec 18 2014, 04:24 AM
Code is all ok.. just change EXT0 to EX0... By mis...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Wed Dec 17 2014, 11:21 PM
i've tried this code but faced a syntax error on l...
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Posted By ExperimenterUK
Wed Dec 17 2014, 09:53 PM
Thank you sir for help! I did change the code sir ...
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Posted By sankalp_s
Wed Dec 17 2014, 04:11 PM
ORG 000H ; starting address SJMP LABEL1 ORG 0...
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Posted By engr1931
Wed Dec 17 2014, 08:09 AM
Thank you sir for help! I did change the code sir ...