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Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE (Marketing Sample 2019 / Totally Teal 2020)

Date of introduction:  (2019) Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
 16-bit color, backlit
New price:   Display size:  240 * 320 pixels 
Size:  7.5" x 3.2" x 0.63"
 190 x 82 x 16 mm3
   
Weight:  6.3 ounces, 179 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  3.7L1200SPA Li-Ion Date of manufacture:  mth 05 year 2019 (M)
AC-Adapter:  AC9211U Origin of manufacture:  Philippines (L)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  ASIC: JB-007-00
 Flash: Winbond 25Q32JV
 Display: Ilitek ILI9335
Memories:      
Program steps:  154k Bytes, 3M Bytes Flash ROM Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Texas Instruments announced on January 27, 2015 a colorful addition to the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators - the new TI-84 Plus CE and successor of the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition introduced just 2 years earlier.

While the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition continued the approach of interchangeable faceplates and slide cases introduced already in 2004 with the original TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, is the TI-84 Plus CE available in black and a huge variety of standard and "limited edition" colors. The featured TI-84 Plus CE Marketing Sample was an alternative design to the "Tangent Teal" introduced for the Back-to-School 2019 campaign with a white instead of the final black display bezel but not released for Sale. Please follow this link to the full rainbow of TI-84 Plus CE colors.

Dismantling this TI-84 Plus CE Marketing Sample (for Back-to-School 2020 released as Totally Teal) manufactured in May 2019 by Kinpo Electronics, Inc. in the Philippines reveals at first glance a very clean and familiar design. A closer inspection and comparing it with the original TI-84 Plus CE shows an unexpected, major redesign with a new ASIC and Serial NOR Flash ROM in addition to the Coprocessor:

JB-007-00 ASIC instead of ET 2014-01 ASIC: eZ80 microprocessor, 256k Bytes Static RAM, USB-Port,
    supporting logic and Cache Memory
Winbond Electronics Corporation 25Q32JV: 32M Bits Serial NOR Flash ROM
    instead 4M Bytes Parallel NOR Flash ROM
Empty space for the Coprocessor used with the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python
Ilitek ILI9335: Single-chip 320*240 pixel display driver (unchanged)

Please notice that the TI-84 Plus CE with Hardware Revision M uses an identical printed Circuit board (PCB) but omits the Coprocessor Atmel ATSAMD21E18A used with the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python and sports. We expect to find the Coprocessor populated on the PCB of the TI-84 Plus CE-T Python Edition announced by Texas Instruments for availability in Summer 2020.

The picture on the right gives an enlarged view of the JP-007-00 ASIC that clocks the eZ80 microprocessor with 48 MHz and incorporates the RAM, USB-Port, logic and Cache Memory. The otherwise more or less identical TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python sports in Hardware Revision M a JB-007-01 ASIC. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators.

This TI-84 Plus CE Marketing Sample manufactured in May 2019 makes use of one Winbond 25Q32JV Serial NOR Flash ROM with 32M bits capacity in a tiny 8-pin package. Interesting to learn that in 2020 a serial memory chip allows on average much faster access time than a parallel memory chip tracing back to the 90s and consequently improving the user experience tremendously. From an engineering standpoint not the easiest task, serial Flash ROMs have a rather slow access time to random memory locations but stream data from consecutive memory addresses very fast. Texas Instruments added into the ASIC plenty of Cache Memory to balance this tradeoff of serial memory chips.

The Coprocessor of the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python running the Python Interpreter is actually the Atmel ATSAMD21E18A microcontroller known from the TI-Python module. This ARM Cortex-M+ based microcontroller runs at 48 MHz and integrates 256k Bytes Flash ROM, 32k Bytes Static RAM and a huge portfolio of peripherals into a tiny 32-pin package. Hardware Revision M of the TI-84 Plus CE seems to be identical with Hardware Revision M of the TI-83 Premium CE Edition Python and would allow to populate the Coprocessor.

While the early members of the TI-84 Plus calculator family use AAA-sized alkaline batteries, accommodate the Color versions an internal Li-ion battery with a capacity of 1,200 mAh and a voltage of 3.7 Volt for a typical operating time of 50 hours. A USB type wall charger is included with each unit but for classrooms is the TI-84 Plus CE Charging Station available. It holds up to 10 calculators and charges them with two small contacts located in the front of the calculator.

The TI-84 Plus CE dropped the serial port known from earlier members of the TI-84 Plus family and doesn't support the ViewScreen panel and the TI-Presenter with the Presentation Link Adapter anymore. The USB interface of the TI-84 Plus CE calculator connects directly with the Calculator-Based Ranger CBR 2 introduced in 2004, the Vernier EasyLink and EasyTemp systems.

The TI-SmartView™ CE Emulator Software for the TI-84 Plus CE allows educators to project a representation of the calculator’s display to the entire class.

The TI Connect™ CE computer software allows for connectivity between a computer and the TI-84 Plus CE to transfer data, update the Operating System (OS), download Calculator Software Applications (Apps), and to edit and load programs to the calculator

The new operating system 5.x of the TI-84 Plus CE is based on the OS 4.0 known from the TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition but they are not compatible due to the different microprocessors used.

ROM-Versions:

5.4.0 (April 27, 2019)

5.5.2 (May 20, 2020)

You can check the ROM version of your TI-84 Plus CE using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[2nd] [MEM] [1]

Information provided by Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

The TI-84 Plus CE is permitted (as of June 20, 2017) for use on SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP exams.

 

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

© Joerg Woerner, May 30, 2019. No reprints without written permission.