DATAMATH  CALCULATOR  MUSEUM

Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators

IC, CPU, MCU, RAM, ROM, ASIC, SoC, ASSP…

[1990] Texas Instruments 8-bit Z80 - Mask ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[1998] Texas Instruments 8-bit Z80 - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2015] Texas Instruments 8-bit eZ80 - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2019] Texas Instruments 8-bit eZ80 plus ARM Coprocessor - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

[1995] Texas Instruments 16/32-bit M68000 - Mask ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[1998] Texas Instruments 16/32-bit Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2001] Texas Instruments OMAP™ - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2007] Texas Instruments ZEVIO - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2011] Texas Instruments 32-bit ARM9 - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture
[2019] Texas Instruments 32-bit ARM9 - Serial Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

IC, CPU, MCU, RAM, ROM, ASIC, SoC, ASSP…

Both Engineering and Marketing teams obviously like fancy buzzword-abbreviations and these and some others apply to Texas Instruments’ Calculator History started in 1958 with the Invention of the Integrated Circuit (IC) and the Cal-Tech program in 1965 that led to the development of the World’s first battery powered Electronic Calculator, commercialized by Canon with the famous Pocketronic introduced in April 1970. The main electronics of the Pocketronic makes use of three Integrated Circuits to scan the keyboard, perform calculations and control the printer mechanism to visualize the entries and result. These customized chips with part numbers TMC1730, TMC1731, and TMC1732 were manufactured in a "state of the art" 10-micron 1-metal PMOS process and using Dual-Inline Ceramic or Plastic (DIC/DIP) packages with 40 pins and 28 pins. TMC in the part number is for Texas Instruments, metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) process, Custom design.

Nippon Calculating Machine Corporation of Japan, better known as Busicom Corporation, went during the development of their printing desktop calculator 141-PF starting in 1968 a different path and charged Intel with the development of the main electronics based on “building blocks” instead of customized chips, differing only in the “program” stored in ROM (Read-only-Memory). By November 1971 the first commercially available Microprocessor, aka Intel i4004 Central Processing Unit (CPU) was introduced together with three more Integrated Circuits forming a complete Micro Computing System:

i4001, 256 x 8 bits Mask-Programmable Read-only Memory (Mask ROM) with a 4-bit programmable I/O port
i4002, 320-bit Random-access Memory (RAM) and 4-bit output port
i4003, 10-bit shift register
i4004, 4-bit Central Processing Unit (CPU), the Microprocessor, with a maximum clock speed of 750 kHz

The Busicom 141-PF used for its main electronics actually:

4 * i4001 for 1,024 x 8 bits Mask ROM or 1k Bytes (!) and 16 Input/Output lines
2 * i4002 for 640 bits RAM or 80 Bytes and 8 Output lines
3 * i4003 for 30 bits Register Memory or Processor Registers for calculations
1 * i4004 4-bit CPU with a maximum clock speed of 750 kHz

The computer architecture chosen by Intel is known as “von Neumann architecture”, named after John von Neumann, a Hungarian-American mathematician, and based on four main components:

A processing unit that contains an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) and Processor Registers
A control unit that contains an Instruction Register (IR) and Program Counter (PC)
Memory that stores data and instructions
Input and output mechanisms

Bottle-neck of the von Neumann architecture is the shared memory bus used for both data and program (instructions) memory, advantage is its simplicity using Memory-mapped Input/Output devices and hence allowing very compact designs of Microcontroller Units (MCU), better known as Microcontrollers.

Back to Texas Instruments, back to Calculators. When Gary Boone started working on a “computer-on-a-chip”, not only the TMS100 (or TMS0100) single-chip calculator used with the famous Bowmar 901B was born, but its offspring TMS1000 (used first with TI’s SR-16) was introduced as the first commercial available Microcomputer and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has affirmed that Texas Instruments engineer Gary W. Boone is the inventor of the single-chip microcontroller, a device that revolutionized electronics by putting all the functions of a computer on one piece of silicon.

Looking into the specifications of the TMS1802, the first commercially available member of the then new TMS100 (or TMS0100) family, reveals:

3,520 bits or 320 words of 11-bit Mask ROM (about 440 Bytes)
182 bits or 44 nibbles of Register Memory or Processor Registers and flags (about 22 Bytes)
19 Output lines for up to 11 digits 7-Segment LED displays
4 Input lines to scan keyboard matrices of up to 44 keys
4-bit CPU with a maximum clock speed of 300 kHz

Comparing these figures of the first MPU used with the Bowmar 901B and the main electronics of the Busicom 141-PF, composed of 10 Integrated Circuits centered around an i4004 MCU – brings our attention to Moore’s Law:

In 1965, Gordon E. Moore - co-founder of Intel - postulated that the number of transistors that can be packed into a given unit of space will double about every two years.

Both Bowmar 901B and Busicom 141-PF use very similar technology from Fall 1971, with the MCU based architecture sporting about 5 times the performance of the MPU based architecture. But keep in mind: 10 Integrated Circuits vs. a Single-Chip design!

Consequently there is always a Ping Pong game going back and forth:

Introduce new features with complex technology and high costs
Use Moore’s Law to apply higher integration over time and hence reducing complexity and costs
Introduce new features

Rinse and repeat

This cycle applies perfectly to Graphing Calculators and ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) are an important part of it.

ASIC: An ASIC is an Integrated Circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use.

Gate Array: Early ASICs used Gate Arrays, prefabricated chips with transistors that are later interconnected into logic devices like Gates and Registers according to a custom order by adding metal interconnect layers in the factory. Customization occurred by varying a metal interconnect mask. Gate arrays had complexities of up to a few thousand gates.

Standard-cell Designs: Standard cells use a higher abstraction level of Gate Arrays, rather complex building blocks like an Adder or even a complete CPU are already predefined by the ASIC manufacturer instead of designed and engineered from scratch by the customer.

System-on-Chip (SOC): A System-on-Chip is an IC that integrates most components of a computer or other electronic system, typically using a CPU, Memory, Input/Output ports and secondary storage. It must contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, or radio frequency signal processing functions, otherwise it will only be considered as an application specific processor.

Application-specific Standard Product (ASSP): An Application-specific Standard Product or ASSP is an IC that implements a specific function that appeals to a wide market. As opposed to ASICs that combine a collection of functions and are designed by or for one customer, ASSPs are available as off-the-shelf components and typically customized by software only.

[1990] Texas Instruments 8-bit Z80 - Mask ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments entered the market of Graphing calculators in 1990 with the TI-81 based on Toshiba T6A49A Application-specific 8-bit Z80 CPU, 128k Bytes Mask ROM, 8k Bytes Static RAM (SRAM) and three display drivers from Toshiba for the 64 * 96 pixel dot matrix LC-Display. This basic architecture branched into three product lines before being replaced in 1999 by the TI-83 Plus architecture using more flexible Flash ROM instead the Mask ROM:

1990: TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-82 STATS
1992: TI-85, TI-86
1995: TI-80

Interesting to notice that Texas Instruments switched back and forth between ASSP and CPU + ASIC based solutions:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(Bytes)
ROM
(Bytes)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-81 1990 (I-0490) Toshiba
T6A49
  8k 64k
©1990
64 * 96 2 * T7778A, T7900 Engineering Sample
May
1990
I-0990 Toshiba
T6A49A
  8k 64k
©1990
64 * 96 2 * T7778A, T7900 no backup battery
March
1991
I-0991 Toshiba
T6A43
  8k 64k
©1991
64 * 96 2 * T7778A, T7900 no backup battery
March
1992
I-1192B Toshiba
T6A43
  8k 64k
©1991
64 * 96 2 * T6A39, T6A40 backup battery
October
1993
I-0894F Toshiba
T84C00A
Toshiba
TC14L010
8k 64k
©1993
64 * 96 T6A04 backup battery
TI-82 (August
1993)
(I-0693) Toshiba
T84C00A
Toshiba
TC14L010
32k 128k
OTP
64 * 96 T6A04 Engineering Sample
August
1993
I-0194K Toshiba
T84C00A
Toshiba
TC14L010
32k 128k
©1993
64 * 96 T6A04  
January
1995
I-1295A Toshiba
T84C00A
Toshiba
TC14L010
32k 128k
©1995
64 * 96 T6A04  
March
1999
I-0200U Zilog
Z84C0008
Toshiba
TC14L010
32k 128k
©1995
64 * 96 T6A04A New design
June
2000
S-0803A Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 128k
©2000
64 * 96 T6A04A Parcus
TI-82 STATS July
2004
S-0304B Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 128k
©2004
64 * 96 T6A04A  
TI-83 January
1996
I-0496A Toshiba
T84C00A
Toshiba
TC14L010
32k 256k
OTP
64 * 96 T6A04  
January
1996
I-0597H Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 256k
©1996
64 * 96 T6A04  
(March
1999)
(I-0598) Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 256k
©1998
64 * 96 T6A04 Engineering Sample
March
1999
I-1099N Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 256k
©1998
64 * 96 T6A04A New design
June
2000
I-0700A Toshiba
T6C79
  32k 256k
©2000
64 * 96 T6A04A Parcus
TI-85 March
1992
I-1092 Toshiba
T6A43
  32k 128k
OTP
64 * 128 2 * T6A39, T6A40  
January
1995
I-0395G Toshiba
T6A43
  32k 128k
©1993
64 * 128 2 * T6A39, T6A40  
TI-86 May
1997
(I-0297) Toshiba
T6A43
  128k 256k
OTP
64 * 128 T6A23, T6A40 Engineering Sample
May
1997
I-1197E Toshiba
T6A43
  128k 256k
OTP
64 * 128 T6A23, T6A40  
May
1997
I-0400K Toshiba
T6A43
  128k 256k
©1998
64 * 128 T6A23, T6A40  
TI-80 February
1995
I-1296C Toshiba
T6M53A
  8k 64k
©1995
48 * 64 T6B79  

[1998] Texas Instruments 8-bit Z80 - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Mask ROM was in the Eighties and Nineties of the last Century in high quantities a very economical solution as program memory for Graphing calculators but had three main disadvantages:

Very high non-recurring engineering (NRE) cost or one-time cost to manufacture a Mask ROM
Very long lead time to change the Mask ROM in case of program bugs or new features
No “field-programmability” to modify the program "in the field," without disassembling the calculator or returning it to its manufacturer

Recognizing about 13 different software versions for the TI-82 alone, obviously a change was needed and Texas Instruments introduced in 1998 with the TI-73 a groundbreaking architecture based on Flash ROM technology that was adopted in 1999 for the TI-83 Plus. Flash ROM technology is allowing users not only to download and install numerous software applications and additional functionality beyond math and science to their Graphing calculators, but even download the latest software version (Operating System). These reasons and more have made the TI-83 Plus the best-selling Graphing calculator in the US and Canada. In the year 2000 more than 2,000,000 units were shipped! Already on July 22, 2003 reported Texas Instruments an accumulated shipment of 25,000,000 Graphing calculators since the introduction of the TI-81.

From a technical point of view is the first generation of the TI-83 Plus very similar to the TI-82 with greatly enhanced memory capacity using an 8-bit Z80 CPU with an ASIC for its glue logic, 512k Bytes Flash ROM, 32k Bytes Static RAM (SRAM) and one display driver from Toshiba for the 64 * 96 pixel dot matrix LC-Display. The longevity of the TI-83 Plus architecture led due to Moore’s Law to another major topic: End-of-life (EOL) of critical products like ASICs supplied to Texas Instruments and their OEMs, indicating that the product is in the end of its useful life (from the vendor's point of view), and a vendor stops marketing, selling, or rework sustaining it. Moore’s Law is based on the improvements in chip manufacturing technology and doubling the number of transistors packed into an IC every two years translates into frequent process changes. A manufacturer of ICs is usually not able running too many manufacturing processes in parallel and hence will discontinue ICs based on mature processes from time to time. Therefore you’ll notice various technologies used with this Graphing calculator architecture. Learn more about the seven known TI-83 Plus Hardware Versions introduced between 1999 and 2007.

The basic architecture branched between 1999 and 2015 into 2 design lines covering multiple products:

1998: TI-73, TI-73 Explorer, TI-76.fr, TI-82 Plus, TI-82 Stats.fr, TI-82 STATS, TI-82 Advanced, TI-83 Plus, TI-83 Plus SE, TI-83 Plus.fr, TI-84 Plus, TI-84 Plus SE, TI-84 Pocket.fr, TI-84 Plus Pocket SE, TI-84 Plus T
2013: TI-84 Plus C SE

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(Bytes)
ROM
(Bytes)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-73

TI-73 Explorer
March
1998
I-0199 Zilog
Z84C0008
TI REF
9815455
32k 512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04
 
March
2003
S-0404D Zilog
Z84C0008
TI REF
9815455
32k 512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04A
 
July
2006
S-0307F TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
July
2006
P-0308G TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04A
 
January
2009
P-1108I TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
TI-84 housing
TI-Lycée Pro.fr

TI-76.fr
(June
2009)
(P-0708) TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
June
2009
P-0409 TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-82 Stats.fr

TI-82 STATS
July
2006
S-0606F TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
June
2012
P-0912G TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
TI-82 Plus June
2014
K-0214C TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-82 Advanced April
2015
L-0717A TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
1024k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-83 Plus May
1999
I-0799A Zilog
Z84C0008
TI REF
9815455
32k 512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04
Inventec
May
1999
N-0306I Zilog
Z84C0008
TI REF
9815455
32k 512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04A
Nam Tai
June
2002
S-0402C Inventec
6SI837
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6A04A
 
June
2004
S-0504E Inventec
6SI837
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
June
2006
S-0806K TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
Inventec
June
2007
S-0407K TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
Inventec
August
2007
N-0407 TI REF
TI-738X COB
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
Nam Tai
TI-83 Plus.fr June
2008
P-0308L TI REF
TI-738X
  ASSP
32k
512k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
June
2013
K-0313 TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-83 Plus Silver Edition June
2001
S-1203C TI REF
83PL2M/TA2
  128k 2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
TI-84 Plus August
2004
S-0304 TI REF
83PLUSB/TA2
  ASSP
128k
1024k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
August
2004
P-0209L TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
1024k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-84 Plus Silver Edition August
2004
S-0504C TI REF
83PLUSB/TA2
  ASSP
128k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
August
2007
S-0407G TI REF
84PLUSB/TA3
  ASSP
128k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Toshiba
T6K04
 
August
2008
P-0408L TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-84 Pocket.fr June
2011
K-0411 TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
1024k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-84 Plus Pocket SE January
2012
K-1111 TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-84 Plus T November
2015
L-1215 TI REF
84PLCR/TA1
  ASSP
48k
2048k
Flash
64 * 96 Novatek
NT7564H
 
TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition May
2013
K-0313 TI REF
84PLUSB/TA3
  ASSP
128k
4096k
Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
 

[2015] Texas Instruments 8-bit eZ80 - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

Twenty-five years into using the Z80 CPU introduced by Zilog in 1976, Texas Instruments switched in January 2015 with the TI-84 Plus CE and its offspring TI-83 Premium CE and TI-84 Plus CE-T to an updated version of the CPU known as eZ80. While maintaining software compatibility on binary level with its predecessor, makes the eZ80 use of an enhanced architecture with a three-stage pipeline and allows clock frequencies of up to 50 MHz for much faster execution time of the software.

2015: TI-83 Premium CE, TI-84 Plus CE, TI-84 Plus CE-T

Moore’s Law applies to RAM and ROM too, but usually the situation with memory chips is much easier: You just double the memory size of the Graphing calculator from time to time. Well, the now famous Hardware Revision M of the TI-84 Plus CE proved in 2019 different. Texas Instruments ran into obsolescence of the Flash ROM technology started with the TI-73 more than twenty years before!

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-83 Premium CE May
2015
L-1115BO ET 2014-01   ASSP
256k x 8
4096k x 8
Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
 
TI-84 Plus CE March
2015
L-0315 ET 2014-00   ASSP
256k x 8
4096k x 8
Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
 
January
2016
L-0317E ET 2015-00   ASSP
256k x 8
4096k x 8
Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
 
TI-84 Plus CE-T May
2015
L-0515A ET 2014-00   ASSP
256k x 8
4096k x 8
Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
 

[2019] Texas Instruments 8-bit eZ80 plus ARM Coprocessor - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

The Flash ROM chips used with the 8-bit eZ80 architecture introduced in 2015 for Graphing calculators started to get phased out from major consumer products and consequently their price increased significantly on the market. While confronted in France with the requirements to integrate a Python interpreter into the TI-83 Premium CE, Texas Instruments killed two birds with one stone and introduced a new architecture for the product line, known as Hardware Revision M. To combat the sourcing problem of the 4M * 8 bits / 2M * 16 bits Flash ROM, the updated design is using a 32M bits Serial Flash ROM supporting up to 4 serial communication ports in a tiny 8-pin package connected to a revised ASIC integrating a 8-bit eZ80 core running at 15 MHz, 256k Bytes RAM and a USB port. Please notice that TI changed in 2019 the architecture of their flagship TI-Nspire CX II, too - the revised TI-Nspire CX II series hosts a Serial Flash ROM with a capacity of 1G bits.

The revised ASIC connects with the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python and TI-84 Plus CE-T Python Edition Python to a Coprocessor running the Python Interpreter, an ARM Cortex-M0+ 32-bit microcontroller clocked with 48 MHz and integrating 256k Bytes Flash ROM, 32k Bytes SRAM and lots of peripherals. To put it into perspective, this Coprocessor sports the memory capacity of a TI-83 Graphing calculator and more than tenfold of its processing power.

2019: TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python, TI-84 Plus CE (Rev. M), TI-84 Plus CE-T (Rev. M), TI-84 Plus CE-T Python Edition

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-83 PR CE Edition Python June
2019
L-0419M JB-007-01   ASSP
256k x 8
32M
Serial Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
Coprocessor: ATSAMD21E18A
TI-84 Plus CE Rev. M May
2019
L-0519M JB-007-00   ASSP
256k x 8
32M
Serial Flash
240 * 320
Color
Ilitek
ILI9335
No Coprocessor

[1995] Texas Instruments 16/32-bit M68000 - Mask ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced in 1995 with the TI-92 their first Symbolic calculator with a Computer Algebra System (CAS) based on Derive, geometry based on Cabri II, and it is considered to be one of the first calculators to offer 3D graphing.

The first generation of the TI-92 and the upgraded TI-92 II are based on a Motorola SC414181 Application Specific CPU combining a 10 MHz version of the original M68000 16/32-bit CPU introduced in 1979 optimized for embedded applications and some Texas Instruments specific glue logic in a very compact package supported by 512k * 16 bits Mask ROM, 128k Bytes Static RAM (SRAM) and five display drivers from Toshiba for the 128 * 240 pixel dot matrix LC-Display. This architecture referred to as Hardware Version 1 was soon replaced by a Flash ROM based approach.

1995: TI-92, TI-92 II

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-92 January
1996
I-0696 Motorola
SC414181
  128k x 8 2 x 512k x 8
OTP
128 * 240 3 * T6A39,
2 * T6A40
OTP ROM Module
January
1996
I-0896N Motorola
SC414181
  128k x 8 1024k x 8 128 * 240 3 * T6A39,
2 * T6A40
ROM
TI-92 II June
1997
I-1098 Motorola
SC414181
  2 * 128k x 8 2048k x 8 128 * 240 3 * T6A39,
2 * T6A40
RAM ROM Module

[1998] Texas Instruments 16/32-bit Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced in March 1998, together with the TI-73, the groundbreaking TI-89 - a normal sized handheld Symbolic calculator based on the TI-92 and dropping the QWERTY keyboard that prohibited its use in ACT, SAT, PSAT and AP exams. From a technical point of view kept the TI-89 in its first generation the Motorola SC414181 Application Specific CPU running at 10 MHz and replaced the Mask ROM with a Flash ROM, doubling its capacity to 1M x 16 bits. RAM capacity was increased too from previously 128k Bytes to 256k Bytes SRAM while cutting the five Toshiba display drivers in quad flat-pack technology to just two chips from Sharp and mounted in Chip-on-Board technology to the display.

The Motorola SC414181 Application Specific CPU was replaced in 1999 with a standard MC68EC000 running at 15 MHz and supported by with an ASIC for its glue logic both with the TI-92 Plus and TI-89. We refer to this design as Hardware Version 2, found with the Voyage 200 introduced in 2002, too and doubling the Flash ROM capacity to 2M * 16 bits.

The TI-89 Titanium introduced in January 2004 together with the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus SE marked the eclipse of the TI’s Motorola M68000 16/32-bit CPU based designs, integrating in Hardware Version 3 and 4 not only a USB port but even 256k Bytes SRAM into the ASIC supporting a Motorola MC68EC000 CPU clocked at 15 MHz.

1998: TI-89, TI-92 Plus, Voyage 200
2004: TI-89 Titanium

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-89 May
1998
I-0499B Motorola
SC414181
  2 * 128k x 8 1024k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 Sharp tbd,
Sharp tbd
 
May
1999
I-0400D Motorola
MC68EC000
TI REF
200C040
2 * 128k x 8 1024k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 Sharp tbd,
Sharp tbd
 
TI-92 Plus April
1999
I-1099A Motorola
MC68SEC000
TI REF
200C040
2 * 128k x 8 1024k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 3 * T6B07,
2 * T6B08
 
Voyage 200 January
2002
I-0602A Motorola
MC68SEC000
TI REF
200C040
2 * 128k x 8 2048k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 3 * T6B07,
2 * T6B08
 
TI-89 Titanium August
2004
S-0404 Motorola
MC68SEC000
TI REF
680TG0204R02
ASSP
256k x 8
2048k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 Sharp tbd,
Sharp tbd
Hardware Rev. 3
July
2007
S-0707H Motorola
MC68SEC000
TI REF
680TG0204R03
ASSP
256k x 8
2048k x 16
Flash
128 * 240 Sharp tbd,
Sharp tbd
Hardware Rev. 4

[2001] Texas Instruments OMAP™ - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced in 2001 with the OMAP™ (Open Multimedia Application Platform) a series of dual-core processors for multimedia and wireless applications. The first generation OMAP™ 1510 combines in one system the TMS320C55x DSP (Digital Signal Processor) with an ARM925 RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) to provide the perfect balance between performance and power consumption for mobile products. It was used between 2002 and 2006 in products like the Palm Tungsten T, Hewlett Packard iPAQ H6340, and Nokia 9300/9500 Communicator.

Texas Instruments developed between 1998 and 2003 with the cancelled PET Project a series of Personal Learning Tools based on their OMAP™ technology. The first product known as PLT SHH1 or simply Spot Hand Held used a modified OMAP™ 1509 with 512k Bytes NOR Flash ROM, 8M Bytes NAND Flash ROM and 8M x 16 bits SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random-access Memory) connected to a small keyboard and a large touch screen with a resolution of 320 * 240 pixel.

The abandoned PET Project let with the Phoenix 1 to TI-Nspire CAS+, still based on the OMAP™ architecture. Before the market introduction of the TI-Nspire CAS in 2007 this architecture was dropped in favor for LSI Logic’s ZEVIO architecture, a System-on-Chip (SOC) based on a ARM9 32-bit RISC processor and a 16-bit ZSP-400 Digital Signal Processor.

(2002): PLT SHH1, PLT FHH1, PLT SU1
(2006): Phoenix 1, TI-nspire+, TI-nspire CAS+

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
PLT-SHH1
Spot Hand Held
(never) (I-xx02) TI-OMAP1509E   8M x 16
SDRAM
8M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Sharp tbd,
Sharp tbd
Prototype
PLT-FHH1
Fido Hand Held
(never) (I-xx02) TI-OMAP1509E   8M x 16
SDRAM
16M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
480 * 320
Monochrome
3*Sharp tbd,
2*Sharp tbd
Prototype
PLT-SU1
Toto Hand Held
(never) (I-xx03) TI-OMAP5910   16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
480 * 320
Monochrome
3*Sharp tbd,
2*Sharp tbd
Prototype
Phoenix 1 (never) (S-0206) TI-OMAP NP31AZZG   16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
Prototype
78 MHz
TI-Nspire+ (never) (S-0506) TI-OMAP NP31AZZG   16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
Prototype
78 MHz
TI-Nspire
CAS+
(May
2006)
(S-0406) TI-OMAP NP31AZZG   16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
Prototype
78 MHz

[2007] Texas Instruments ZEVIO - Flash ROM Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced in July 2007 the long-awaited TI-Nspire family with a CAS version meant to be the successor of the TI-89 Titanium and a non-CAS version meant to be the successor of the TI-84 Plus. Both calculators used almost identical hardware based on LSI Logic’s ZEVIO architecture, a System-on-Chip (SOC) based on an ARM9 32-bit RISC processor running at 90 MHz, a 16-bit ZSP-400 Digital Signal Processor running at 200 MHz, controllers for external NAND Flash ROM, SDRAM, USB 2.0 and even an LCD controller for external TFT displays. The original design of the TI-Nspire added 256k x 16 bits NOR Flash ROM, 32M Bytes NAND Flash ROM and 16M x 16 bits SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random-access Memory) connected to a switchable keyboard and a high-contrast LCD screen with a resolution of 320 * 240 pixel. Later revisions of the TI-Nspire integrated the NOR Flash ROM into the ZEVIO System-on-Chip but kept the external NAND Flash ROM and SDRAM chips.

2007: TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CAS
2010: TI-Nspire Touchpad, TI-Nspire CAS Touchpad

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-Nspire (July
2007)
(S-0207) TI-NS2006A
LSI LOGIC
L9A0654
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
Prototype
90 MHz
July
2007
S-0507 TI-NS2006A-0
LSI LOGIC
L9A0702
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
90 MHz
TI-Nspire
CAS
(July
2007)
(S-0107) TI-NS2006A-1
LSI LOGIC
L9A0654
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
Prototype
90 MHz
July
2007
S-0407 TI-NS2006A-0
LSI LOGIC
L9A0654
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
256k x 16
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
90 MHz
TI-Nspire
Touchpad
April
2019
P-0110A TI-NS2007C-0
LSI LOGIC
L9B0713
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
120 MHz
TI-Nspire CAS
Touchpad
April
2019
P-0210A TI-NS2007C-0
LSI LOGIC
L9B0713
  16M x 16
SDRAM
32M x 8
NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Monochrome
Novatek NT7702H,
2*Novatek tbd
120 MHz

[2011] Texas Instruments 32-bit ARM9 - Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced at the 2011 T3 International Conference held on February 25-27 in San Antonio, TX with the TI-Nspire CX and TI-Nspire CX CAS their first Graphing calculators with full color, backlit displays. Since its introduction in 2007 the original TI-Nspire with Clickpad received quite some criticism and it took just two steps in evolution to overcome them completely.

Step 1:

Crowded, confusing keyboard: Introduction of the TI-Nspire with Touchpad in April 2010.
High consumption of disposable AAA batteries: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery available as option for the TI-Nspire with Touchpad.

Step 2:

Low-contrast of the display and rather bulky housing: Announcement of the TI-Nspire CX in February 2011.
Lack of 3D graphing: Upgrade of all TI-Nspire calculators to Operating System 3.0 in April 2011.

The ARM9 CPU of the TI-Nspire CX family is integrated into an ASIC with the markings ET-NS2010 or NS2015 (T6UJ1XBG), obviously from Toshiba, Japan and integrating 128k Bytes NOR Flash-ROM and 256k Bytes SRAM. Its ARM9 core is clocked with 132 MHz compared to the 90 MHz of the previous TI-Nspire and supported by a Multichip Package integrating 128M Bytes NAND Flash ROM and 32M x 16 bits SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic Random-access Memory) and connected to a large keyboard and a 16-bit full color, backlit display with a resolution of 320 * 240 pixel.

2011: TI-Nspire COLOR, TI-Nspire CX, TI-Nspire CX-T (European market), TI-Nspire CM (Chinese market), TI-Nspire CM-C (Chinese market), TI-Nspire CX CAS, TI-Nspire CX-T CAS (European market), TI-Nspire CX-C CAS (Chinese market)

Texas Instruments introduced in 2019 the upgraded TI-Nspire CX II family as successor of the TI-Nspire CX product line.

Main improvement of the TI-Nspire CX II family is the higher clock rate of the ARM9 CPU integrated into the new ET-NS2018 ASIC, with 396 MHz triple of the original TI-Nspire CX family and still supported by 128M Bytes NAND Flash ROM and 32M x 16 bits SDRAM.

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-Nspire COLOR (May
2011)
(P-0810) ET-NS2010B-0
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0001
  MCP
16M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
Discrete
512k x 8
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Prototype
132 MHz
TI-Nspire
CX
May
2011
P-0811C ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
132 MHz
March
2013
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction
April
2014
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 2
132 MHz
October
2014
P-2014T ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 3
132 MHz
November
2015
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
Discrete
512 x 8
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 4
156 MHz
April
2016
  ET-LC2015C-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0003
  32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 6
156 MHz
No MCP
March
2017
  ET-LC2015C-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0003
  32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 7
156 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire
CX CAS
(May
2011)
(P-0111) ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Prototype
132 MHz
March
2013
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction
April
2014
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 2
132 MHz
October
2014
  ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 3
132 MHz
November
2015
P-1115W ET-NS2010B-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
Discrete
512k x 8
NOR Flash
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 4
156 MHz
April
2016
  ET-LC2015C-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0003
  32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 6
156 MHz
No MCP
March
2017
  ET-LC2015C-1
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0003
  32M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
Cost Reduction 7
156 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire CM (never) (P-0211) ET-LC2010B-0
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
16M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Prototype
132 MHz
TI-Nspire CM October
2011
P-0911 ET-LC2010B-0
Toshiba
T6UJ1XBG-0002
  MCP
16M x 16
ASSP
128k x 8
MCP
128M x 8 NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1168
Ilitek
ILI9322
Prototype
132 MHz

[2019] Texas Instruments 32-bit ARM9 - Serial Flash ROM Color Graphing Calculator Architecture

Texas Instruments introduced in 2019 the upgraded TI-Nspire CX II family as successor of the TI-Nspire CX product line.

Main improvement of the TI-Nspire CX II family is the higher clock rate of the ARM9 CPU integrated into the new ET-NS2018 ASIC, with 396 MHz triple of the original TI-Nspire CX family and supported by 1Gbits Serial NAND Flash ROM and 32M x 16 bits SDRAM. Please notice that TI changed in 2019 the architecture of the TI-84 Plus CE, too - the revised TI-84 Plus CE (Rev. M) hosts a Serial Flash ROM with a capacity of 32M bits. From a mechanical engineering point of view the 2nd Generation TI-Nspire CX II continues the "single PCB approach" with the rotated LCD module of the TI-Nspire CX Cost Reduction Phase 4 and dropping the MCP (Multichip Package) like Cost Reduction Phase 6.

2019: TI-Nspire CX II, TI-Nspire CX II EZ-Spot, TI-Nspire CX II-T (European market), TI-Nspire CX II CAS, TI-Nspire CX II-T CAS (European market), TI-Nspire CX II-C CAS (Chinese market)

Product Overview:

Product Intro. Date Code CPU/ASSP ASIC RAM
(bits)
ROM
(bits)
Display
(Pixel)
Driver Comments
TI-Nspire
CX II
March
2019
M-0519AI ET-NS2018-000
S6M98
  32M x 16
ASSP
256k x 8
1G x 1 Serial NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
396 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire
CX II-T
March
2019
  ET-NS2018-100
S6M98
  32M x 16
ASSP
256k x 8
1G x 1 Serial NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
396 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire
CX II CAS
March
2019
M-0419AH ET-NS2018-001
S6M98
  32M x 16
ASSP
256k x 8
1G x 1 Serial NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
396 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire
CX II-T CAS
March
2019
  ET-NS2018-001
S6M98
  32M x 16
ASSP
256k x 8
1G x 1 Serial NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
396 MHz
No MCP
TI-Nspire
CX II-C CAS
March
2019
  ET-NS2018-001
S6M98
  32M x 16
ASSP
256k x 8
1G x 1 Serial NAND Flash
ASSP
128k x 8
ROM
240 * 320
Color
Giantplus
GPM1570A
Ilitek
ILI9322
396 MHz
No MCP


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If you have additions to the above article please email: joerg@datamath.org.

© Joerg Woerner, July 4, 2020. No reprints without written permission.