HD44780U based instruction set
Instruction Code Description Execution
time (max)
(when fcp = 270 kHz)
RS R/W B7 B6 B5 B4 B3 B2 B1 B0
Clear display 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Clears display and returns cursor to the home position (address 0). 1.52 ms
Cursor home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * Returns cursor to home position. Also returns display being shifted to the original position. DDRAM content remains unchanged. 1.52 ms
Entry mode set 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 I/D S Sets cursor move direction (I/D); specifies to shift the display (S). These operations are performed during data read/write. 37 μs
Display on/off control 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 D C B Sets on/off of all display (D), cursor on/off (C), and blink of cursor position character (B). 37 μs
Cursor/display shift 0 0 0 0 0 1 S/C R/L * * Sets cursor-move or display-shift (S/C), shift direction (R/L). DDRAM content remains unchanged. 37 μs
Function set 0 0 0 0 1 DL N F * * Sets interface data length (DL), number of display line (N), and character font (F). 37 μs
Set CGRAM address 0 0 0 1 CGRAM address Sets the CGRAM address. CGRAM data are sent and received after this setting. 37 μs
Set DDRAM address 0 0 1 DDRAM address Sets the DDRAM address. DDRAM data are sent and received after this setting. 37 μs
Read busy flag &
address counter
0 1 BF CGRAM/DDRAM address Reads busy flag (BF) indicating internal operation being performed and reads CGRAM or DDRAM address counter contents (depending on previous instruction). 0 μs
Write CGRAM or
DDRAM
1 0 Write Data Write data to CGRAM or DDRAM. 37 μs
Read from CG/DDRAM 1 1 Read Data Read data from CGRAM or DDRAM. 37 μs
Instruction bit names —

I/D - 0 = decrement cursor position, 1 = increment cursor position; S - 0 = no display shift, 1 = display shift; D - 0 = display off, 1 = display on; C - 0 = cursor off, 1 = cursor on; B - 0 = cursor blink off, 1 = cursor blink on ; S/C - 0 = move cursor, 1 = shift display; R/L - 0 = shift left, 1 = shift right; DL - 0 = 4-bit interface, 1 = 8-bit interface; N - 0 = 1/8 or 1/11 duty (1 line), 1 = 1/16 duty (2 lines); F - 0 = 5×8 dots, 1 = 5×10 dots; BF - 0 = can accept instruction, 1 = internal operation in progress.


  1. Ground
  2. VCC (+3.3 to +5V)
  3. Contrast adjustment (VO)
  4. Register Select (RS). RS=0: Command, RS=1: Data
  5. Read/Write (R/W). R/W=0: Write, R/W=1: Read (This pin is optional due to the fact that most of the time you will only want to write to it and not read. Therefore, in general use, this pin will be permanently connected directly to ground.)
  6. Clock (Enable). Falling edge triggered
  7. Bit 0 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  8. Bit 1 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  9. Bit 2 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  10. Bit 3 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  11. Bit 4
  12. Bit 5
  13. Bit 6
  14. Bit 7
  15. Backlight Anode (+) (If applicable)
  16. Backlight Cathode (-) (If applicable)

Nominal operating voltage for LED backlights is 5V at full brightness, with dimming at lower voltages

The HD44780 interface allows for two modes of operation, 8-bit and 4-bit.
The operation mode must always be set using the Function Set command, it is not defined at power-up whether the chip is in 8-bit or 4-bit mode. For this reason, in 4-bit mode a command is sent in two operations. To enable 4-bit mode the Function Set command must be sent three times. Once in 4-bit mode, character and control data are transferred as pairs of 4-bit "nibbles" on the upper data pins, D4-D7.

Labels: my.