Introduce each kind of 7-segment display, 16-segment display , and Internal structure!

Seven-segment display, sixteen-segment display product

The same is a seven-segment monitor, sixteen-segment display, there are different names in the industry, do you often feel troubled by this? This article organizes the common names in the industry, and explains its meaning to the reader, in addition to the introduction of seven segment display, sixteen segment display of the internal structure, so that you can faster understand a variety of seven-segment display’s, sixteen-segment display’s specifications!

Which LED displays can be used to display Arabic numerals and English letters?

The most common LED display for displaying Arabic numerals is a 7-segment display, while a 16-segment display can display both Arabic numerals and upper and lower case English letters and this article describe more detail about 7-segment / 16-segment display information. In addition to these two, dot matrix displays can use the light and darkness of the dots to display pixelated (Pixel Art) patterns, and pixelated Arabic numerals and English letters are of course fine. This article will focus on seven-segment displays, fourteen-segment displays & sixteen-segment displays that display numbers and English, dot matrix display will be discussed in a different article.

Why are they called seven-segment displays, fourteen-segment displays, and sixteen-segment displays?

These displays were originally named after a single character, how many emitting areas (also known as segments, or sections, Segments), so a seven-segment display (7-Segment Display) represents seven emitting areas on one character; Fourteen-segment displays (14-Segment Display) and sixteen-segment displays (16-Segment Display) are named in the same way. It is important to note that almost all displays have a circular emitting area at the bottom right, commonly referred to as the DP Point, which is commonly used as a decimal point (Decimal Separator/Decimal Mark), and some are used as a thousand-bit separator symbol. Whether or not the DP Point (Data Point) exists or has more than one point does not affect the name, and the following image is an example of two products where you can see that the number of points does not affect naming, with the left being called the Seven-Segment Display and the right being called the Sixteen-Segment Display .

A nickname for a seven-segment display, a fourteen-segment display, and a sixteen-segment display

Before describing the internal construction of the three displays mentioned above, the industry has different names for these displays, and although the names are different, they refer to the same displays, each of which is discussed as follows:

The nickname for a seven-segment display

Seven-segment displays are most commonly used to display Arabic numerals, which many people call “digital displays”, in addition, when light up all seven-segment, it display “8” Arabic numerals, so, many people are often call it as the “eight-word display” or simply “8 word” . In addition to the above Chinese Traditional, the simplified characters used in China often call “displays” as “tubes”, “digital” as “digital” and “segment” as “dash”, and the simplified characters “digital tube”, “seven digital tube”, “seven tube”, “eight word tube” and “8-word displays, “eight-word tubes”, “8 eight-word display”, or directly turning simplified bodies into traditional forms are also very common, for example, “digital tubes”, “seven-segment digital tubes”, “seven-segment tubes”, “8 eight-word tubes”, “8 eight-word displays” It can be said that the name is very confusing.

The nickname of a fourteen-segment display and a sixteen-segment display

Fourteen-segment displays and sixteen-segment displays are deformations of seven-segment displays, and the extra segments are designed to display capital and lowercase English letters, which should be individually called “alphanumeric displays” (Alphanumeric Display), In addition, since the interior of the 14-segment display and the 16-segment display have the same appearance as the Chinese word “米meter”, therefore Chinese language countries, more people called “米meter-word display.” All of the above terms may refer to both “14-segment displays” and “16-segment displays”, the names of which are often mixed.

The internal structure of seven-segment displays, fourteen-segment displays and sixteen-segment displays

The internal structure of the seven-segment display, the fourteen-segment display and the sixteen-segment display are roughly the same, except for the naming rules for the internal segments. Seven-segment displays and sixteen-segment displays will each give an example.

Seven-segment display and internal structure – take OPS-S5620 (1) SB as example:

In the case of OPS-S5620(1)SB , the internal structure have three parts :

  1. The light emitting diode LED
  2. PCB (connecting circuits and LEDs)
  3. Packing method (commonly surface mount assembly SMD (Surface Mount Device), and the through-hole element THT (Through-Hole Tech
OPS-S5620(1)SB  The appearance diagram and the lighting diagram, as well as the common cathode and the common anode two circuit diagrams

First, each light-emitting area has at least one LED, as shown in the upper right corner, and a seven-segment display requires at least eight light-emitting diode LEDs to fully represent numbers, in order to completely render the numbers by naming the inner segment (Segment) clockwise, and the DP point (Data point) in the lower right corner.

Next up is connectivity, where seven-segment displays are typically assembled on the motherboard using either Surface Mount Device or THT, and if there are too many points to connect externally, the entire module of the seven-segment display becomes larger, so Common Anode and Common Cathode are the most commonly used in the industry. The two methods of join to reduce the assembly point and motherboard, usually different circuit join methods will be expressed in different product models, the above illustration, common Anode model is OPS-S5620SB, Common Cathode model is OPS-S5621SB.

Next is the location of the external packaging, which can be lit by the number on the schematic, to understand the position of the external pins, the product must be used before the detailed confirmation of DATASHEET, in order to normally drive the seven-segment display. For information on how to drive the seven-segment display correctly, please refer to the previous article. 「How to design a series resistance for a seven-segment displa?

Internal structure of the sixteen-segment display – take the OPD-AS5010 (1) LR as an example

The appearance diagram and the lighting diagram of OPD-AS5010(1)LR , as well as the common cathode and the common anode two circuit diagrams

Sixteen-segment displays take OPD-AS5010(1)LR  as an example, except for the two products of the light-emitting color is blue light and red light, the other description logic is the same, there are two different places:

  1. If some of the original seven-segment displays are split into two segments, they are represented by A1/A2, D1/D2, and G1/G2
  2. The internal segments of the sixteen-segment display are also defined in clockwise order for sections (H-L).


This article integrates the seven-segment displays, fourteen-segment displays, and sixteen-segment displays that are common in the industry, and explains their meaning. The internal structure of the three displays is also briefly explained. It is hoped that readers will be able to see the specifications of these three displays more quickly after reading these articles.

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