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:  30015421
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 1998 (I)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: Toshiba T6C79
 ROM: TI883-03©1998
 RAM: SRM2A256 
 Display: Toshiba T6A04
Program steps:  27k Bytes Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-83_Back.jpg (120443 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_PCB.jpg (369112 Byte)This 2nd generation of the TI-83 integrates both the Z80 CPU and 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. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators. In 2004 even the software of the TI-83 morphed into the TI-82 STATS!

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):

TI-83_Memory.jpg (239499 Byte)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 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 TI883-03©1998 Mask ROM of this TI-83 was manufactured by Macronix International, the largest supplier of ROM products established in 1989 in Taiwan. Don't miss a TI-83 manufactured in May 1997 sporting the TI83-02©1996 Mask ROM.

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 makes use of SRM2A256 manufactured by Epson, Japan. The capacity of the memory is 32k Bytes.

TI-83_LCD.jpg (97741 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 design of the TI-83 was changed shortly after the introduction of the TI-73, find the official statement from Texas Instruments' website below:

The slightly different look of the popular TI-82 and TI-83 graphing calculators is in response to the very positive educator reaction to the design, display viewability and rugged construction of the new TI-73 middle grades graphing calculator. Appearance changes to the TI-83 are limited to rounder key shapes and a raised display. The TI-82 change is more dramatic, as the product looks much rounder than the original boxy style. The key shapes for the TI-82 are also rounded. 

© Texas Instruments, March 1999


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_I0598I_OS.jpg (43963 Byte)1.08000

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.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, February 19, 2003. No reprints without written permission.