Manufacturer Part Number
© 2004 National Semiconductor Corporation
Dot/Bar Display Driver
General Description
The LM3914 is a monolithic integrated circuit that senses
analog voltage levels and drives 10 LEDs, providing a linear
analog display. A single pin changes the display from a
moving dot to a bar graph. Current drive to the LEDs is
regulated and programmable, eliminating the need for resis-
tors. This feature is one that allows operation of the whole
system from less than 3V.
The circuit contains its own adjustable reference and accu-
rate 10-step voltage divider. The low-bias-current input
buffer accepts signals down to ground, or V
protection against inputs of 35V above or below ground. The
buffer drives 10 individual comparators referenced to the
precision divider. Indication non-linearity can thus be held
typically to
Versatility was designed into the LM3914 so that controller,
visual alarm, and expanded scale functions are easily added
on to the display system. The circuit can drive LEDs of many
colors, or low-current incandescent lamps. Many LM3914s
can be “chained” to form displays of 20 to over 100 seg-
ments. Both ends of the voltage divider are externally avail-
able so that 2 drivers can be made into a zero-center meter.
The LM3914 is very easy to apply as an analog meter circuit.
A 1.2V full-scale meter requires only 1 resistor and a single
3V to 15V supply in addition to the 10 display LEDs. If the 1
resistor is a pot, it becomes the LED brightness control. The
simplified block diagram illustrates this extremely simple
external circuitry.
When in the dot mode, there is a small amount of overlap or
“fade” (about 1 mV) between segments. This assures that at
no time will all LEDs be “OFF”, and thus any ambiguous
display is avoided. Various novel displays are possible.
%, even over a wide temperature range.
, yet needs no
Much of the display flexibility derives from the fact that all
outputs are individual, DC regulated currents. Various effects
can be achieved by modulating these currents. The indi-
vidual outputs can drive a transistor as well as a LED at the
same time, so controller functions including “staging” control
can be performed. The LM3914 can also act as a program-
mer, or sequencer.
The LM3914 is rated for operation from 0˚C to +70˚C. The
LM3914N-1 is available in an 18-lead molded (N) package.
The following typical application illustrates adjusting of the
reference to a desired value, and proper grounding for ac-
curate operation, and avoiding oscillations.
n Drives LEDs, LCDs or vacuum fluorescents
n Bar or dot display mode externally selectable by user
n Expandable to displays of 100 steps
n Internal voltage reference from 1.2V to 12V
n Operates with single supply of less than 3V
n Inputs operate down to ground
n Output current programmable from 2 mA to 30 mA
n No multiplex switching or interaction between outputs
n Input withstands
n LED driver outputs are current regulated,
n Outputs can interface with TTL or CMOS logic
n The internal 10-step divider is floating and can be
referenced to a wide range of voltages
35V without damage or false outputs
February 2003

Related parts for LM3914VNOPB

Related keywords