Controlling 7-segment displays with a 7 cent microcontroller

Tim’s Blog is back to using ultra-inexpensive microcontrollers to control LEDs.

Why would you use three WS2811 ICs to control a single 7-segment display when a single microcontroller could do it better at a lower cost?

I elected to use a PADAUK PFS154-S16 as microcontroller for each segment. This device has flash memory and sufficient I/O to control a 7 segment display without multiplexing. The cost is only $0.07, so it is cheaper than, for example, using multiple WS2811 instead.

Instead of a tricky protocol like typical LED controllers, these use a standard UART (serial) interface.

See the blog post for additional information.


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