Texas Instruments TI-89 (Hardware Version 2)

Date of introduction:  March 13, 1998
 Available: May 1999
Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $159.99  Display size:  100 * 160 pixels
Size:  7.2" x 3.2" x 0.80"
 182 x 81 x 20 mm3
Weight:  6.4 ounces, 182 grams Serial No:  1320004889
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 04 year 2000 (D)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: MC68SEC000
 ASIC: TI REF 200C040
 Flash: LH28F160
 RAM: 2*TC551001
Program steps:  188k Bytes, 702k Bytes Flash ROM Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-89_I0400_Back.jpg (278902 Byte)TI-89_I0400_P1.jpg (402915 Byte)The TI-89 introduced in March 1998 could be called the most enhanced calculator of the pre-2000 time. 

TI-89_DISP.jpg (34337 Byte)It combines the capabilities of the TI-92 Symbolic calculator with state-of-the-art Flash technology in a normal sized hand-held calculator case. The only drawback compared with the original TI-92 is the reduced screen size and the calculator style keyboard instead the former typewriter style. 

TI-89_PCB1.jpg (209403 Byte)How managed engineers of Texas Instruments to squeeze a fully loaded 32-bit microcomputer system into a small calculator housing? They designed together with Motorola a so-called Application Specific Microcomputer. The kernel of the design is the original Motorola MC68000 microprocessor and all necessary logic for a calculator is placed on the same chip. The printed circuit board (PCB) of early TI-89 calculators accommodates indeed only this SC414181 chip, two
128k Bytes Static RAM chips and the huge Sharp LH28F160 1Mx16 bits Flash ROM. 

TI-89_PCB2.jpg (216110 Byte)
The customized SC414181 32-bit microcomputer found on early TI-89 calculators was later replaced by a standard MC68SEC000 with an additional ASIC for the glue logic. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators.

TI-89_LCD1.jpg (28779 Byte)The 5 display drivers found in the TI-92 were replaced by only two chip-on-board components.

The clock and the icon desktop were new features included in the OS 2.07 and upwards. You can easily update an elder TI-89 to OS 2.08 or OS 2.09 so that it will include the clock as well. However the clock will not activate with a TI-89 Hardware Version 1.00, it has to be Hardware Version 2.00.

A special "teacher version" called TI-89 VSC combines the standard TI-89 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. Texas Instruments announced June 2002 an optional full-sized QWERTY Keyboard for a more convenient entry of notes into the handhelds.

Don't miss the colorful slide cases developed for the TI-83 Plus, they fit on the TI-89, too.

Texas Instruments introduced in May 2003 a styling variation of the TI-89 for the European market. Only some month later, the successor TI-89 Titanium was announced for the global market. Main differences are:

More stylish housing with integrated kickstand
Integrated USB port for computer connecitivity
Three times of user memory
Advanced display
16 pre-loaded software applications


The two different hardware revisions of the TI-89 are known as HW1 and HW2. You can check the HW version of your TI-89 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:  

[F1] [A]

Please notice that HW1 revisions report just the ROM version while HW2 reports the hardware revision, too. Main differences between HW1 and HW2 are the display access (Direct Memory Access vs. Memory Mapped IO), processor speed (10 MHz vs. 12 MHz) and limitations of the assembly program size).


TI-89_I0400_OS.jpg (65809 Byte)1.00 (July 27, 1998)
1.05 (June 2, 1999)
2.03 (December 8, 1999)
2.04 (March 11, 2000)
2.05 (July 5, 2000)
2.06 (not released)
2.07 (not released)
2.08 (July 29, 2002, recalled and re-released February 20, 2003)
2.09 (March 27, 2003, actual in February 2008)

Advanced Mathematics Software v2.09 

You can check the ROM version of your TI-89 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[F1] [A]

Information provided by and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

Since the TI-89 lacks a QWERTY keyboard it is permitted (as of September 27, 2007) for use on SAT, PSAT and AP exams. Calculators with computer algebra system (CAS) functionality are not allowed on ACT exams.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, December 5, 2001. No reprints without written permission.