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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Tue Feb 09 2016, 10:47 PM
Ankush SS
Can i get the source code of this project? Please n thnk u for ur kindness
Fri Feb 05 2016, 02:03 PM
SANJYOT JADHAV
sir did we have to use Gsm modem for testing the circuit on proteus
Tue Feb 02 2016, 04:47 PM
upendra kumar
i want information about 3-phase motor control using gsm technology
Sat Jan 16 2016, 11:03 PM
Kenneth Etuk
Hi everyone, I need help with a project involving MCU,rttc, and DC motor. I will pay for it. please reply to my mail [email protected] if you are interested. thanks
ExperimenterUK
Sat Jan 16 2016, 07:38 AM
@Kabona Log in and create a thread. Tell us what you want to do
Wed Jan 13 2016, 01:54 AM
Kabona
how can I make my pc be input and output device for the microcontroller
Sat Jan 09 2016, 12:34 PM
Ravz
Thank u..... one more doubt Will ultrasonic sensor HC-SR04 works with aurdino board in operating system linux
Tommy.Kofisterix
Sat Jan 09 2016, 02:20 AM
I know it detects also the mud on rear bumper, this means other obstacles will
Tommy.Kofisterix
Sat Jan 09 2016, 02:18 AM
Hey hi, hello
Tue Jan 05 2016, 08:33 PM
Ravz
Anybody here????

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ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Thu Feb 04 2016, 04:10 AM
Sir I didn't understand that. Could you explain ab...
sankalp_s Avatar
Posted By sankalp_s
Tue Feb 02 2016, 07:26 PM
but good use of sub routines will save a lot of ...
ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Tue Feb 02 2016, 12:25 AM
after removing ALLON instruction it's working fine...
ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Tue Feb 02 2016, 12:14 AM
Which micro controller are you using ?.Does it hav...
sankalp_s Avatar
Posted By sankalp_s
Sat Jan 30 2016, 07:40 PM
You need to explain exactly what you want the code...
ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Sat Jan 30 2016, 06:57 PM
>sir can you code this in any other method?You nee...
sankalp_s Avatar
Posted By sankalp_s
Sat Jan 30 2016, 06:47 PM
CALL ALLONCLR L1CLR L2CLR L3CLR L4CALL DELAY ;del...
designAAA Avatar
Posted By designAAA
Sat Jan 30 2016, 10:03 AM
I have used to timer 2 external pin for other purp...
designAAA Avatar
Posted By designAAA
Sat Jan 30 2016, 09:00 AM
Hello,I am building the dotmatrix display, where I...
ExperimenterUK Avatar
Posted By ExperimenterUK
Sat Jan 30 2016, 12:40 AM
ok sir but what is solution for it. will i have to...