Texas Instruments TI-83 (Design Validations Tests)

Date of introduction:  Never Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:    Display size:  8 * 16 characters
Size:  7.5" x 3.3" x 0.85"
 190 x 84 x 22 mm3
Weight:  7.4 ounces, 208 grams Serial No:  DVT-117
Batteries:  4*AAA + SR44 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 12 year 2012
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  China (K)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  ASIC: TI-REF 84PLCR/TA1
 Flash: MX29L800A
 Display: Novatek NT7564H
Program steps:  24k Bytes, 480k Bytes Flash ROM Courtesy of:  Xavier Andréani

This TI-83 with the serial number DVT-117 was used for Design Validation Tests (DVT - learn more about the Five Engineering Stages) of the later TI-83 introduced in June 2013.

Compared with the original TI-83 introduced already in 2008 sports this design the housing of the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition with its snap-on faceplates. We know a similar story with the TI-73 Explorer introduced in 2006 and its successor TI-73 Explorer from 2009.

Dismantling this TI-83 Prototype manufactured in December 2012 by Kinpo Electronics, Inc. reveals a design using the components and Operating System of the recent TI-84 Plus:

TI-REF84PLCR/TA1: Z80 microprocessor, RAM, USB-Port 
    and supporting logic
Macronix MX29L800A: 1M Bytes Flash ROM
Novatek NT7564H: Single-chip 64*120 pixel display driver

The picture on the right gives an enhanced view of the ASIC that clocks the internal Z80 microprocessor with 15 MHz and incorporates the RAM, USB-Port and logic. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators. Please notice the smaller package of the new TI-REF 84PLCR/TA1 ASIC compared with the previous TI-REF 83PLUSB/TA2 or TI-REF 84PLUSB/TA3 found in the TI-84 Plus family manufactured between 2004 and 2007.

Recently members of the Graphing Calculator Programming community under the lead of Xavier Andréani made a very interesting discovery:

All TI-84 Plus / S.E. with the TA2 or TA3 ASIC have access to 128k Bytes RAM.
All TI-84 Plus / S.E. with the TA1 ASIC have access to only 48k Bytes RAM using
    the same assembly commands.

This TI-83 Prototype manufactured in December 2012 makes use of one Macronix Flash-ROM with 1M Bytes capacity while the final product sports 2M Bytes.

The driver circuit of the LC-Display was traditionally manufactured by Toshiba for Texas Instruments' graphing calculators. This TI-83 manufactured in 2012 shows with the Novatek NT7564H a one-by-one replacement. It is just a bare chip mounted on a flexible piece of circuit board attached between the display and the main PCB.

A serial port of the calculators allows the connection to the Calculator-Based Laboratory system CBL, its successor CBL 2, the Calculator-Based Ranger CBR and its successor CBR 2.


2.55MP (January 11, 2011, actual in May 2013)

You can check the ROM version of your TI-83 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[2nd] [MEM] [1]

Information provided by and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

The TI-83 is permitted (as of May 30, 2013) for use on SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP exams.


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© Joerg Woerner, May 31, 2013. No reprints without written permission.