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Dot-matrix display

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Title: Dot-matrix display  
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Subject: Twisted nematic field effect, Light-emitting diode, List of vacuum tubes, Bram Stoker's Dracula (pinball), HP 20b
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Dot-matrix display

Example of an animated dot matrix display, with a proportional font. Note unlit dots.

A dot-matrix display is a display device used to display information on machines, clocks, railway departure indicators and many other devices requiring a simple display device of limited resolution.

The display consists of a dot matrix of lights or mechanical indicators arranged in a rectangular configuration (other shapes are also possible, although not common) such that by switching on or off selected lights, text or graphics can be displayed. A dot matrix controller converts instructions from a processor into signals which turns on or off lights in the matrix so that the required display is produced.


  • Usual resolutions 1
  • Usual character resolutions 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4

Usual resolutions

Common sizes of dot matrix displays:

  • 128×16 (Two lined)
  • 128×32 (Four lined)
  • 128×64 (Eight lined)

Other sizes include:

  • 92×31 (Four or three lined)
"A Matrix Display in the size 20x2" – This is a classic 5x7 dot matrix LCD display used in some early cellphones and vending machines

Usual character resolutions

  • A common size for a character is 5×7 pixels, either separated with blank lines with no dots (in most text-only displays), or with lines of blank pixels (making the real size 6x8). This is seen on most graphic calculators, such as Casio calculators or TI-82 and superior.
  • A smaller size is 3×5 (or 4x6 when separated with blank pixels). This is seen on the TI-80 calculator as a "pure", fixed-size 3×5 font, or on most 7×5 calculators as a proportional (1×5 to 5×5) font. The disadvantage of the 7×5 matrix and smaller is that lower case characters with descenders are not practical. A matrix of 11×9 is often used to give far superior resolution.
  • Dot matrix displays of sufficient resolution can be programmed to emulate the customary seven-segment numeral patterns.
  • A larger size is 5×9 pixels, which is used on many Natural Display calculators.

See also

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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