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
Thu Oct 30 2014, 06:02 PM
This is a chat box..create a thread if you need help...but we don't do homework
Tue Oct 28 2014, 07:33 PM
vinni
hi rickey...anyone got the pgm...pls gimme now
Tue Oct 28 2014, 06:35 PM
potla
hi vinni even i need that program. help me if you get it
Tue Oct 28 2014, 03:22 PM
vinni
1. Using a look-up table in Flash ROM and accumulator offset indexed addressing mode, write a program that acts as a timer. The timer should count from 0 to 59 seconds. After reaching 59, it should go back to 0 on the next second and continue to count up. The timer should use the seven-segment display. The look-up table should contain information on how to display the digits 0 – 9 on the seven-segment display
Tue Oct 28 2014, 03:22 PM
vinni
hello Rickey..i need this pgm very urgently
Tue Oct 28 2014, 01:42 AM
Boy Donald
Dear sir, thanks before. i have some project urgent for my school and my project need this digital countdown timer using 7 segmen display. but your project only show ten minutes countdown, i need your help, can you show me more to change the minute or set the time manually. thank you, sorry for disturbing you.
Tue Oct 28 2014, 01:32 AM
Boy Donald
dear sir
Tue Oct 28 2014, 01:19 AM
Boy Donald
Rickey you inspired me a lot but why i can not change the time ( minute
Sun Oct 26 2014, 02:51 AM
sandeep bankar
dear sir I m facing problem about..how to read number of incoming call in gsm 900 a. pls help how to read it in atmel avr microcontroller.
ajay_bhargav
Mon Oct 20 2014, 11:22 AM
@skrishna, please post in forum so we can help you better.

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prash5054
Thu Oct 30 2014, 06:34 AM
Max.otto
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hiswe
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Sun Oct 19 2014, 01:56 PM
msideal
Thu Oct 16 2014, 08:48 AM
robotgirl
Tue Oct 14 2014, 06:23 PM
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Mon Oct 13 2014, 05:48 AM

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Posted By rkodaganur
Fri Oct 31 2014, 01:44 AM
Hi Ajay, I wanted to know can we use transformer ...
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Posted By Max.otto
Thu Oct 30 2014, 11:09 AM
Hello all, before generating i have to give PWM p...
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Posted By prash5054
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can u post the updated code for the above problem ...
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Thank you for the feedback.It's good to hear when ...
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ExperimenterUK: Thankyou so much for helping me......
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thanks ExperimenterUK for your help.... I will try...
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Your error seems to be the use of PINC, which is f...
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i want to extend my i/o's by writing this code. i ...
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hello everyone i wanna interface blood pressure se...