DRIVING NKK “IS01PA001” LCD SmartDisplays with ATMEL [ATMEGA88PA] Micro-Controller


Lately I’ve been messing around with these Small mini LCD display units from the Company NKK. These units are referred to as “SmartDisplays” or “SmartSwitches”.

Shown below is one of NKK’s many SmartDisplay units. The IS01PA001 is a Monochrome display with a Dual LED backlight of Yellow and Green color.

NKK IS01PA001 SmartDisplay Datasheet PDF Link:  NKK_IS01PA001_Datasheet

NKK ISO1PA001 SmartDisplay
NKK ISO1PA001 SmartDisplay

There have been many guides and Magazine articles published on the subject of interfacing and driving graphics to these great little LCD displays. However I have not been able to find a Step-by-Step Tutorial to show Students how to use these units and provide the necessary introductions to at least get started. Most of the guides I found are targeted for professional level Engineers.

So in turn I have decided to compile my own Instructional Video series with a Step-by-Step Guide on how to Drive these units using an ATMEL micro-controller.

I used various Datasheets and other online guides and or Papers to get a working platform and the necessary code to implement the Serial data communications and control signals to drive some basic graphics.

ATMEL ATMEGA88PA Micro-controller Pinouts
ATMEL ATMEGA88PA Micro-controller Pinouts
ATMEL ATMEGA88PA driving an NKK SmartDisplay.
ATMEL ATMEGA88PA driving an NKK SmartDisplay.

I will be posting this Instructional Video series on my Youtube Channel. I will also provide a PDF Guide and the required micro-controller “C” Code on a devoted page on my Website very shortly for students to view and download.

So check back soon. Fun Stuff!!




5 thoughts on “DRIVING NKK “IS01PA001” LCD SmartDisplays with ATMEL [ATMEGA88PA] Micro-Controller”

  1. Hello Garry!

    Very interesting announcment. Did you already make a video, how to drive this switch with an atmega? Do you know any resource for driving this NKK switch model with the Arduino IDE?

    1. Hi Marco,

      No I’m still working on editing it together.

      I do know that there is an NKK library that was created to use with the Arduino software.
      There are a few YouTube videos that give a quick demo of the software and the library
      to show it driving an NKK LCD display.

      So if you want to drive it within an Arduino project, it should be doable.
      Just get your Hands on the Library file and the commands are pretty straight forward.

      I’ll see if I can dig it up and I’ll post the link to the video here for you to check out.

      Time permitting I hope to finish my videos, showing how to do it using Atmel Studio using C programming.

      I’ll see what I can find.

    2. Hi Marco,

      Sorry for the late reply…. been pretty busy the past few weeks.

      Anyhow, here is one of the Videos I recalled seeing on YouTube that gave a Demo of using the NKK Smartswitches with the Arduino.

      I think his method of controlling the NKK smartswitch was a little different than the way I designed it using an ATMEGA micro.
      I communicate directly with the NKK smart switch using a very minimized form of an SPI serial communication interface.
      Which is what the NKK switch requires.

      I think what this individual has done is use the Arduino and an I/O Expander Chip. The “MCP23017” accessing it’s registers over the I2C interface.
      He is probably using the I/O Expander chip to control the LED backlights On/Off and possibly creating an Serial SPI interface. However, I’m not 100% sure on that.

      There are a couple of Libraries for this I/O expander device at the link below:

      As for his NKK LCD Display Library specifically I’m not sure.
      I think the Link to example code in his description of the video is a Bad link and is no longer functional.

      So you may have to do some searching on the NET to locate it.
      Hopefully I’ll get some time to finish my Tutorial and Post my C code for use in Atmel Studio.


  2. Did you ever release this guide? New to arduino, would like to start learning with a a project of this magnitude. I have two Yuns, want to order everything required to try and make the NKK smart switches play nicely.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Glad to see your interest in this project. These NKK displays are really amazing and great for creating custom controls. Unfortunately I have yet to complete the instructional videos and the documentation. It’s still in the editing stages. Over the past year, some other projects took priority. I’m aiming to finish it over my Summer Holidays which will be happening in a couple of weeks. I’ll have it all posted on my Website as I’ve described here on my Blog.



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