In Day 3 tutorial, we learnt basics of seven segment LED displays and discussed about a time-division multiplexing technique that reduces the number of required microcontroller I/O pins to drive multiple seven segment LED displays. Today we will move a step further and discuss about a serial interface (SPI) for driving 8 seven segment LED displays. The technique uses MAXIM’s MAX7219 LED driver chip that allows you to control 8 (or more in cascade configuration) common-cathode seven segment LED displays with only 3 I/O pins of Netduino. For illustrative purpose, we will use our 8-digit serial seven segment LED (8DSSSLED) display module here. The benefit of using MAX7219 is, it will do all the hard work of multiplexing operation and let the microcontroller do more important jobs. It supports SPI serial communication protocol.
Netduino controlling 8 Digit Serial Seven Segments LED using MAX7219