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Texas Instruments TI-92

Date of introduction:  April 6, 1995
 Available: Jan. 5, 1996
Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $200  Display size:  12 lines by 40 char
 128 * 240 pixels 
Size:  4.7" x 8.2" x 1.2"    
Weight:  17.4 ounces Serial No:  V1101541
Batteries:  4*AA + CR2032 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 06 year 1996
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: SC414181
 ROM: 2*AT27C040 or IEC9895S or LH5388
 RAM: TC551001
 Display: 3*T6A39, 2*T6A40
Memories:      
Program steps:  128k Bytes, 70k Bytes available Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

TI-92_I0696_Back.jpg (528456 Byte)If you are an experienced user of MathCad running on a personal computer you feel instantly perfect with this Symbolic calculator. The power of a 16/32-bit microcomputer (Motorola MC68000 series), a fully loaded keyboard and a wide graphics screen together with built-in geometry software gives you the best calculator available.

TI-92_I0696_PCB.jpg (654941 Byte)The printed circuit board (PCB) of the TI-92 shows a complexity similar to the earlier TI-95

TI-92_I0696_PCBA.jpg (578125 Byte)Beside the MC68000 compatible microcomputer, one Toshiba TC551001 128k Byte RAM chip and - depending from the manufacturing date of the calculator - none or one 1M Byte ROM, you'll notice only the Toshiba display drivers T6A39 (3*column driver) and T6A40 (2*row driver).

The main components of the TI-92 manufactured in June 1996 and August 1996:

TI-92_I0896_CPU.jpg (301097 Byte)CPU (Central processing Unit): The Motorola SC414181 Application Specific CPU combines a version of the original M68000 16/32-bit microprocessor introduced in 1979 optimized for embedded applications and some Texas Instruments specific glue logic in a very compact package. 

TI-92_I0696_MOD_PCB.jpg (136813 Byte)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, for instance the TI-92 Plus, changed to Flash-ROM, a technology allowing the programming of the software during the final production stage of the calculator. 

This TI-86 manufactured in June 1996 makes use of two one-time programmable ROM ATMEL AT27C040 housed in a small module fitted into the Expansion Port for convenient replacement. It is common practice in software engineering to avoid the high one-time costs and long lead time of a Mask-ROM during the ramp up of a new product. One-time programmable ROM like the AT27C040 are on the other hand more expensive.  

Later TI-92 calculators host a Mask-ROM soldered onto the Main-PCB. We located in a TI-92 manufactured only two month later a IEC9895S chip and spotted in a TI-92 manufactured in June 1997 a LH5388 from Sharp, Japan. The capacity of the memory is 1M Bytes.  

TI-92_PLUS_RAM.jpg (84099 Byte)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-92 makes use of one TC551001 manufactured by Toshiba, Japan. The capacity of the memory is 128k Bytes.

TI-92_PLUS_LCC.jpg (280516 Byte)DISPLAY: The TI-92 uses display drivers in large, conventional packages. We noticed in this TI-92 three T6A39A column drivers and two T6A40 row drivers manufactured by Toshiba, Japan. 



A big advantage of the TI-92 design is its Expansion Port on the backside of the housing. Both available modules enhanced the TI-92 and secured the high invest of the calculator for a long time. In a first step the TI-92 E module emulated the later TI-92 II, and in a second step the TI-92 Plus module prepared the later TI-92 Plus

In addition to the handheld Graphing calculators features the TI-92 a direct connection port to either a ViewScreen panel or the TI-Presenter.

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 incredible TI-89 - integrating the huge TI-92 into a normal sized calculator!


Hardware-Versions:

The hardware of the TI-92 is referred to as hardware version 1 and contains a 10 MHz processor. Upgrading the TI-92 with the TI-92 Plus module generates a TI-92 Plus with hardware version 1. You can check the HW version of your TI-92 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[F5] [DIAMOND] [(]    or
[F1] [A] with installed TI-92 Plus module

ROM-Versions:

1.0b1 (Sep. 13, 1995)
1.2 (Oct 11, 1995)
1.3 (Oct 20, 1995)
1.4 (Nov 17, 1995)
1.5 (Jan 2, 1996)
1.7 (Jan 18,1996)
1.8 (Feb 28, 1996)
1.9 (March 20, 1996)
1.10 (March 26, 1996)
1.11 (Apr 11, 1996)
1.12 (May 8, 1996)

ROM-Versions (Plus module):

1.0  (May 21, 1998)
1.01 (Aug 5, 1998)
2.03
2.04 (June 2000)
2.05 (July 5, 2000)
2.06
2.07
2.08 (August 2002, recalled and re-released February 20, 2003)
2.09 (May 20, 2003, actual in February 2008)

Advanced Mathematics Software v2.09  

You can check the ROM version of your TI-92 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:

[F5] [DIAMOND] [(]     or
[F1] [A] with installed TI-92 Plus module

Information provided by ticalc.org and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

Since the TI-92 Series and Voyage 200 feature a QWERTY keyboard they are not allowed on ACT, SAT, PSAT and AP exams.

 

Find here the original press release dated April 6, 1995:

Revolutionary instructional tool combines the power of a computer lab and the independence of a calculator with capabilities that previously required expensive computers and software, TI-92 helps students explore and visualize math disciplines, make connections

DALLAS, April 6, 1995

Texas Instruments has developed a revolutionary instructional tool for high-school and college mathematics that combines the power of a computer lab and the independence of a calculator. The portable, handheld, cost-effective TI-92 delivers many capabilities that had been available only in expensive computers and mathematics software. The device also gives teachers the ability to connect mathematics disciplines in ways that have not previously been available.

Using the features and functions of the TI-92, teachers in a variety of mathematics courses can effectively turn any classroom into a computer lab at a fraction of the traditional cost. TI is introducing the TI-92 this week in Boston at the annual conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Developed after years of consultation with classroom teachers and leading educators, the TI-92 fully supports the NCTM Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics. The unit handles a broad range of mathematics from algebra through calculus including interactive geometry, symbolic manipulation, statistics and 3D graphing. It incorporates all the features of the popular TI-82 Graphing Calculator.

The TI-92 is also compatible with TI's Calculator-Based Laboratory™ (CBL™) System. Together these products give students the ability to analyze real-world data and connect math and science.

"Now teachers have a tool that students can use to explore and visualize a number of math disciplines," said Dr. Bert Waits, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at The Ohio State University. "What's more, they can use the TI-92 to discover the connections between disciplines. Even expensive computer software packages haven't provided that link between the branches of mathematics.

Powerful capabilities for a variety of high-school and college math courses

TI developed the interactive geometry features of the TI-92 jointly with the creators of Cabri Geometry II [tm] software at the Université Joseph Fourier. Students can use interactive geometry to explore Euclidean, transformational and analytic geometry. The software makes it easy to build geometric constructions interactively using points, lines, triangles, polygons, circles, arcs and other basic shapes. These objects then can be translated, rotated and dilated.

TI developed the TI-92's symbolic manipulation features for algebra and calculus in a joint effort with the authors of the DERIVE® computer algebra system produced by Soft Warehouse, Inc. Once students understand the methods of factoring, they can explore expressions that otherwise would have been difficult and time-consuming.

The TI-92 graphs functions, parametric equations, polar equations, recursively defined sequences and 3D surfaces. It also performs a variety of matrix operations.

The device incorporates pretty print technology that makes even complicated mathematical equations easy to read. Rational expressions, radicals, exponents, complex numbers and absolute values appear just as they would in a printed textbook. The built-in text editor has scripting capability so users can embed mathematical information in text.

Versatile TI-92 is easy to learn, easy to use

Educators in a variety of high-school and college math courses tested the TI-92 in pilot programs during the fall of 1994. Jim Kozman, who heads the math department at Franklin Heights High School in Columbus , Ohio , is one of the instructors who was involved in the program. "The TI-92 is easy to learn and easy to use," Kozman said. "It's the next logical step for the many students and teachers who have used the TI-82 graphics calculator."

The TI-92 employs a friendly graphic user interface (GUI) like those familiar to users of Macintosh® computers and IBM® -compatible personal computers running Microsoft® Windows.

The unit has a large, 240 x 128-pixel display that shows windows, icons, menus and pointers with high resolution (72 dots per inch). A user can split the display into separate windows to view two applications simultaneously. Users can split the display side-to-side or top-to-bottom; the two resulting windows can be sized in 1:1, 1:2 or 2:1 ratios.

The unit has a natural, ergonomic form factor that is unique for an instructional tool; it resembles many handheld, self-contained video games. "The horizontal format naturally accommodates the large, high-resolution display," said Tom Ferrio, calculator marketing manager for TI personal productivity products, "and we implemented a QWERTY keyboard to simplify the work of naming variables and editing text."

"We evaluated a number of potential designs using models, and we tested the most promising with experienced calculator and computer users who spend a lot of time using handheld products and keyboards. Users report they are comfortable holding the TI-92 or placing it on a desk or table."

The device weighs 20 ounces (567 grams) and measures 4.7 x 8.2 x 1.2 inches (11.9 x 20.8 x 3 centimeters). It has an impact-resistant snap-on cover that also serves as a three-position stand for desktop use.

The TI-92 keyboard has a logical, zoned design that separates QWERTY keys, function keys and scientific calculator keys. Function keys provide access to pull-down menus and sub-menus. The TI-92 has an eight-direction cursor key and a lock key that are used together to emulate the operation of a mouse. The keyboard terminology is similar to the TI-82.

Based on an application-specific version of the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the TI-92 has 128K of RAM storage including a 70K user memory. The design provides robust programming capabilities and on-board help for command syntax. Power requirements are supplied by four AA-size alkaline batteries and a lithium backup cell; all are supplied.

The TI-92 has a built-in I/O port through which users can link two systems and transfer information; each device includes the required cable. With optional TI-GRAPH LINK™ software users can transfer data and programs between the TI-92 and a computer, store the information on disk or print it. Users can back up the entire TI-92 memory on the computer, and they can print any program, variable or data structure.

The TI-92 has a suggested retail price of $250. A Teacher Kit containing ten TI-92s also will be available at a suggested retail price of $2500. Dealer prices may vary.

Designed for classroom presentations, the TI-92 ViewScreen™ is a specially constructed unit with a 10-foot cable and a display panel that can be used with an overhead projector. This ViewScreen edition has a suggested retail price of $550. Dealer prices may vary. Each unit will be available from authorized TI instructional dealers beginning in the fourth quarter of 1995. TI-92 products are covered by a one-year limited warranty.

TRADEMARKS: Calculator-Based Laboratory, CBL, Graph Link, ViewScreen are trademarks of Texas Instruments Incorporated. Cabri Geometry II is a trademark of Universite' Joseph Fourier. DERIVE is a registered trademark of Soft Warehouse, Inc. Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Microsoft is a registered trademark and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Find here the original press release dated January 5, 1996:

TI-92 combines the power of a computer lab, the independence of a calculator.
Revolutionary instructional tool on display at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show

DALLAS, January 5, 1996

If the treasured souvenirs of your school days include a well-worn slide rule or a basic calculator, please fasten your seat belts and prepare to rocket forward in time.

Your destination is 1996, where computers are commonplace in kindergartens, and powerful graphing calculators help older students visualize the lessons of advanced mathematics. And that's not all. The latest instructional tool for high school and college math packs most of the math tools of a computer lab into a package half the size of a spiral notebook.

This revolutionary instructional tool is the new TI-92 from Texas Instruments. The easy-to-use, handheld TI-92 combines the power of a computer math lab with the independence of a calculator.

Most importantly, the handheld TI-92 can help students visualize math in ways not possible outside a computer lab. Education experts agree that this visualization can make math more interesting and easier to understand.

TI developed the TI-92 with the assistance of classroom teachers and leading educators to make mathematics education more effective.

Technology Helps Students Visualize, Understand Mathematics

"The technology in the TI-92 makes it easy to see what happens to an equation when, for example, you change the size or position of a circle," said Bonnie McNemar, coordinator of the TTT Program at the University of Texas at Arlington . "The changes appear simultaneously."

TTT (Teachers Teaching with Technology) is a national teacher training effort that focuses on the appropriate use of handheld technology. McNemar is a former junior high and high school math teacher, educational consultant, teacher trainer and adult educator.

"Students who use the TI-92 can see how changing the geometric shapes that equations represent," McNemar said. "They can see how changing the shape of a triangle impacts trigonometric values. And this visualization makes it easier to make connections between disciplines like geometry and algebra."

The TI-92 is useful in a broad range of mathematics of mathematics from algebra through calculus including interactive geometry, computer algebra and statistics. The TI-92 graphs functions, parametric equations, polar equations and recursively defined sequences. It also performs 3D graphing and a variety of matrix operations.

A Powerful, Cost Effective Tool for Mathematics Education

TI's new instructional tool provides a practical solution to the challenge of providing cost effective technology for mathematics education.

"Traditional computer math labs are expensive to equip, so most schools lack adequate computer resources," said Chuck Vonder Embse, associate professor of mathematics at Central Michigan University , Mt. Pleasant , Mich. "This scarcity limits the time students have to explore mathematics and understand its relevance to the world."

Schools can provide a TI-92 for each student more economically than they could invest in personal computers and software," said Vonder Embse, one of the instructors who tested the TI-92 in pilot programs during the fall of 1994. "With the features and functions of the TI-92, teachers can turn a math classroom into a computer lab at a fraction of the cost." In most school systems, he said, math teachers find it necessary to sign up weeks in advance for computer lab time. Handheld instructional tools like the TI-92 are available whenever they're needed, even on the spur of the moment.

Versatile TI-92 is easy to learn, easy to use

The TI-92 employs a friendly graphic user interface (GUI) lime those familiar to users of Macintosh© computers and IBM©-compatible computers running Microsoft© Windows©. Function keys provide access to easy-to-use pull down menus.

"The TI-92 is easy to learn and easy to use," said Jim Kozman of the math department at Franklin Heights High School in Columbus , Ohio , and another TI-92 beta tester. "This is the next logical step for the many students and teachers who have used the TI-82 graphics calculator."

"The TI-92 has a unique shape among instructional tools," said Tom Ferrio, calculator marketing manager for TI personal productivity products. "Our industrial designer worked with students and educators to create a shape that results in intuitive use of the product."

The TI-92 weighs 20 ounces (567 grams) and measures 4.7 x 8.2 x 1.2 inches (11.9 x 20.8 x 3 centimeters). It has a rugged snap-on cover that also serves as a stand for desktop use.

Four AA-size alkaline batteries and a lithium backup cell to power the TI-92; all are supplied. The device has a built-in port through which users can transfer information between two TI-92's. TI packs the required cable with each device.

With optional Graph Link™ and cable software, students and teachers can transfer data and programs between the TI-92 and a computer, store the information on disk or print it. Users can back up the entire TI-92 memory on a computer, and they can print programs, data, and pictures.

The estimated U.S. street price of the TI-92 is $200.00 (dealer prices may vary). The unit is available from authorized dealers and retail stores. The TI-92 is covered by a one year limited warranty.

 

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

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