Texas Instruments TI-83

Date of introduction:  Jan.10, 1996 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $125 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:  17432776
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 1997 (H)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: Toshiba T6C79
 ROM: TI83-02©1996
 RAM: SRM28256 
 Display: Toshiba T6A04
Program steps:  27k Bytes Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-83_I0597_Back.jpg (243626 Byte)From a users point of view the TI-83 is compatible with the TI-82 but added some financial functions and the "official" support of assembly programming. A smart decision, the TI-83 developed itself as a popular programming platform and prepared the tremendous success of the TI-83 Plus

TI-83_I0597_PCB.jpg (403795 Byte)From a technical point of view the TI-83 very similar to the revised TI-82 introduced in 1996, too. The main differences are the integration of the Z80 core and the supporting ASIC into the Toshiba T6C79 Application Specific CPU. This high integrated chip found its way into the TI-82 Parcus and TI-83 Parcus, both introduced in 2001.

Just for your notes: The TI-82 Parcus introduced in 2001 makes use of the same chips as the TI-83 introduced in 1996. In 2006 their successors, the TI-82 resp. TI-83 Plus were identical! 

Disassembling this TI-83 manufactured in May 1998 reveals no big surprises. It makes use of just 4 main components on the printed circuit boards (PCB’s):

CPU (Central processing Unit): The Toshiba T6C79 is a so-called Application Specific CPU and combines a Z80 core with an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). You’ll find different approaches within the graphing calculator line of Texas Instruments, sometimes the usage of an individual CPU (e.g. Z80 and M68000) with a supporting ASIC or – like with this TI-83 - the integration of the CPU into the ASIC.

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 strored 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 TI83-02©1996 ROM of this TI-83 was manufactured by Macronix International, the largest supplier of ROM products established in 1989 in Taiwan. We know a TI-83 manufactured in April 1997 with the same ROM version 1.07000 using a LH532KZI TI883-01©1996 from Sharp, Japan.
Don't miss a TI-83 manufactured in May 1998 sporting the
TI883-03©1998 ROM.  

RAM (Random Access Memory): The RAM is used as data memory and is used to store both variables, user programs and intermediate results. This TI-83 makes use of SRM28256 manufactured by Epson, Japan. The capacity of the memory is 32k Bytes.

TI-83_I0597_PCBD.jpg (125003 Byte)DISPLAY: The Toshiba T6A04 is a 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 of the TI-83 is just 96 * 64, therefore only one display driver is necessary. The bare chip is mounted on a flexible piece of circuit board attached between the display and the main PCB.

A special "teacher version" called TI-83 VSC combines the standard TI-83 features with a port to connect to a ViewScreen panel via a cable. Placing the panel on the overhead projector enlarges the image of the handheld screen so that each student can follow along.

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.

Don't miss the colorful slide cases developed for the TI-83 Plus, they fit on the TI-83, too.

The TI-83 was mentioned in TI's press release dated August 15, 2002 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its invention of the electronic calculator.


TI-83_I0597_OS.jpg (44400 Byte)1.02

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


Information provided by and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

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

If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, February 18, 2009. No reprints without written permission.