Seven segment LED displays are a very popular mean of displaying numerical information and finds application in front panel display boards of microwave ovens, washers and dryers, digital clocks, frequency counters, and many other gadgets. Compared to the LCD displays, the seven segment LED displays are brighter and provide a far viewing distance and a wide viewing angle. However, the downside is they are resource-hungry. It requires at least 12 I/O pins of a microcontroller to drive a standard 4-digit seven segment LED module. Consequently, their use with low pin-count microcontrollers (such as PIC12F series) is not practically feasible. Here’s a solution for that. The following 4-digit seven segment LED module features a serial interface that requires only 3 I/O pins of a microcontroller and provides full control of all digits and decimal points .
Serial four digit 7-segment LED display module - [Link]