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Nine-segment display

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Run-through of numeric digits on a nine-segment display.

A nine-segment display is a type of display based on nine segments that can be turned on or off according to the graphic pattern to be produced. It is an extension of the more common seven-segment display, having an additional two diagonal or vertical segments (one between the top and the middle, and the other between the bottom and the horizontal segments). It provides an efficient method of displaying alphanumeric characters.

The letters displayed by a nine-segment display are not consistently uppercase or lowercase in shape. A common compromise is to use a lower-case "n" instead of "N". Depending on the design of the display segments, the use of the extra two segments may be avoided whenever possible, as in the Nixxo X-Page 'tall' lowercase "r" and "y". Perhaps to avoid this awkward inconsistency, the Scope Geo N8T does not allow the use of uppercase or lowercase versions of the letters "J" (even though it could easily be displayed on a 7 segment display). Some other letters like "K", "Q", "W" (even though this would appear as an upside-down M), and "X", "Y" (even though it could easily be displayed on a 7 segment display), and "Z".


Representing numbers in Russian postcode.

In some Russian digital calculators of the 1970s, such as the Elektronika 4-71b, 9-segment displays were used to provide basic alphanumerics and avoid confusions with representing numbers in Russian postcode. The extra two bars were slanted forward, allowing for an appropriate-looking И, and to differentiate the numeral 3 from the letter З. The Sharp Compet calculator also uses a 9-segment display, allowing a small range of characters and symbols to be used.

The common segment displays shown side by side: 7-segment, 9-segment, 14-segment and 16-segment displays.

Nine-segment displays are used in many Timex digital watches, and some pagers, such as the Nixxo XPage,[1] the Arch BR502 pager,[2] and the Scope Geo N8T.[3] They are also used in some Epson Stylus printers, and Newport iSeries digital meters.[4] The display used in the iSeries is unique in that it has a vertical extra segment at top, and a fully backwards-leaning slant for the extra segment at bottom. This allows for a somewhat more natural-appearing R and M.

A nine-segment display has been developed for displaying Bengali and Roman numerals.[5]


  1. ^ "Primus" (PDF). Primus Ontario English.
  2. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 13 April 2007.
  3. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 29 September 2007.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Mahmud, Samiran; Chowdhury, Thomas; Hasan, Manzurul (2005). "Designing a 9 Segment Display for Bangla and English Numerals". Asian Journal of Information Technology. 4 (7): 689–691. Retrieved 2018-08-12.

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