Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus

Date of introduction:  June 2001 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:   Display size:  8 * 16 characters
Size:  7.2" x 3.2" x 0.80"
 182 x 81 x 20 mm3
Weight:  6.4 ounces, 182 grams Serial No:  1320014989
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 2001 (D)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: Zilog Z84C0008
 ASIC: TI REF 9815455
 Flash: 29F400
 RAM: A62W5308
 Display: Toshiba T6A04A
Program steps:  24k Bytes, 160k Bytes Flash ROM Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Texas Instruments introduced the original TI-83 Plus already in 1999 as the successor of the TI-83. It was an immediate success on the market and it was for a long time frame the best selling graphing calculator in the US and Canada. Texas Instruments reported more than 2,000,000 shipped units in 2000!

Glitter-packed and translucent, this is how Texas Instruments described the wonderful TI-83 Plus Silver Edition in its press release dated June 19, 2001. It took a few weeks and the basic TI-83 Plus was available more or less every year for the Back-to-School campaign in new colors:

• BTS 2001: Retailer Target introduces the TI-83 Plus Cool Blue. This nice looking calculator
    was available in Australia, too.
• BTS 2002: Retailer Target introduces the TI-83 Plus Ultra Violet.
• BTS 2003: Retailer Target introduces this TI-83 Plus Blue.
• BTS 2004: Retailer Staples introduces the TI-83 Plus Lime Green and the TI-83 Plus Blue.
• BTS 2006: Texas Instruments surprised the French market in 2006 with a translucent
    TI-83 Plus Cool Blue.
• BTS 2007: New design of the TI-83 Plus Cool Blue and TI France introduces the strange 
    looking TI-83 Plus Pink.


Disassembling this TI-83 Plus manufactured in May 2001 reveals more or less the original design of the TI-83 Plus using 5 main Integrated Circuits:

• Zilog Z84C00 microprocessor
• TI REF 9815455 ASIC
• 512k Bytes Flash ROM
• 32k Bytes Static RAM
• Toshiba T6A04A: Single-chip 64*120 pixel display driver

CPU (Central processing Unit): This TI-83 Plus is centered around a Zilog Z84C0008 microprocessor, a low-power CMOS-version of the original Z80 developed in 1974 and introduced in 1976. It is probably the same design as the Toshiba TMPZ84C00 chip found in some graphing calculators. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators.

ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit): The Z80 is a pure microprocessor and lacks, compared to so-called microcontrollers, any peripherals and housekeeping circuits. Texas Instruments developed already for the TI-82 in 1993 a support ASIC for the Z80 microprocessor based on the Toshiba TC14L gate array family with 1,000 usable gates in 1.0um CMOS-technology. This chip-set replaced the Toshiba T6A43 Application Specific CPU found in the earlier TI-81 designs. We assume that the TI REF 9815455 ASIC used in this TI-83 Plus is based on a later Toshiba gate array family. 

Within the graphing calculator line of Texas Instruments you find different approaches for the CPU architecture:

• Application Specific CPU, e.g. the T6C79 found in the TI-83\
• Discrete CPU with support ASIC, e.g. the Z80 / TI REF 9815455 combination of this TI-83 Plus
• Gate array with embedded processor core and RAM, e.g. the TI REF 738X
    found in this TI-83 Plus manufactured by Inventec Corporation in 2006.

ROM (Read Only Memory): The ROM contains the operating system of the calculator. The first products on the market used mask-programmable ROM, the program was stored already during the production of the Integrated Circuit. Later calculators changed to Flash ROM, a technology allowing the programming of the software during the final production stage of the calculator. With the TI-83 Plus and all later graphing calculators from Texas Instruments even the user was able to reprogram the operating system. The Flash ROM 29F400 of this TI-83 Plus was manufactured by Fujitsu, Japan.

RAM (Random Access Memory): The Static RAM is used as data memory and is used to store both variables, user programs and intermediate results. This TI-83 Plus makes use of one A62W5308 manufactured by
AMIC Technology Corporation (AMIC), Taiwan. The capacity of the memory is 32k Bytes. 

AMIC, headquartered in Hsin-Chu City, Taiwan, started as new memory product division within United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) and is today a major player in the memory market.

DISPLAY: The Toshiba T6A04A is a column and row driver for small-to-medium-sized dot matrix graphic LCD. It is compatible with Z80 based CPUs and drives displays with up to 120 columns and 64 rows. The display size of the TI-83 Plus is just 96 * 64 pixel, therefore only one display driver is necessary.

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. Texas Instruments announced June 2002 an optional full-sized QWERTY Keyboard for a more convenient entry of notes into the handhelds.


TI-83PLUS_S0402C_OS.jpg (53260 Byte)1.13 (April 2001)

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

[2nd] [MEM] [1]

Information provided by and Xavier Andrιani.

Exam acceptance:

The TI-83 Plus is permitted (as of September 27, 2007) for use on SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP exams.


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If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, March 26, 2009. No reprints without written permission.