Texas Instruments Speak & Spell / Professor (China)

Date of introduction:  1990 Display technology:  LCD
New price:   Display size:  9 alphanumeric
Size:  10.0" x 7.0" x  1.3" 
 254 x 177 x 34 mm3
Weight:  16.7 ounces, 474 grams Serial No:  
Batteries:  4*C cells Date of manufacture:  year 1991
AC-Adapter:  AC9199 Origin of manufacture:  China
Precision:   Integrated circuits:  TSP50C42 (CSM42024)
 Module: TSP60C80 (CM80004)
Program steps:   Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

Globalization. "Globalization describes a process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a global network of communication, transportation, and trade" (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

In other words: A friend in India pointed us in March 2010 to this rare Chinese Speak & Spell sold on an online auction in Canada. Thank you, Rohit.

We never heard about this unique Speak & Spell variation and contacted even the legal department of Texas Instruments to learn finally that it was not a counterfeit but an official product of Texas Instruments in China.

At first glance this Speak & Spell "Professor" looks like an adaption of the Super Speak & Spell (91), but we missed immediately the dial to adjust the display contrast known already from the 1
st generation of the Super Speak & Spell.

Dismantling this rare Speak & Spell "Professor" manufactured in 1991 in China reveals immediately some surprises. The printed circuit boards (PCBs) inside the housing of the 2nd generation Speak & Spell introduced in 1980 look completely different from all PCBs we know so far but the technology is obviously borrowed from the Super Speak & Spell.

The electronics of the Speak & Spell "Professor" is centered around the TSP50C42 Speech Synthesizer, a single-chip solution combining the TSP50C50 speech synthesizer with an 8-bit microcontroller, 16k Bytes Mask ROM for both program and voice and 128 Bytes + 16 Nibbles RAM.

One Speak & Spell "Professor" Cartridge Library is known:

Name Grade Words Description Module Word List
English Professor Cartridge II     not available  


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If you have additions to the above article please email:

Joerg Woerner, December 3, 2007. No reprints without written permission.