In this post we’ll add a serial data transfer capability to a standard 7-Segment LED Display by using PCF8574 I/O Port expander IC with I2C interface. Usually in order to minimize required outputs for driving LED display a multiplexing techniques are used. Most frequent way is to connect all segments in parallel and switch a common anode/cathode in sequence with relevant digit data. Examples of these multiplexing techniques can be found in recently published 7-Segment Display with SPI post. Adding I2C port expanders to a 7-Segment display makes it possible to address each segment individually without additional code complexity. A general I2C routine can be implemented in all segments regardless of their number, the only thing you need to do is to assign the address by setting port expander A0(1), A1(2), and A2(3) pins . In case of PCF8574 8 Digit Display can be built. PCF8574 datasheet is available here.
7-Segment LED Display with I2C
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