DATAMATH  CALCULATOR  MUSEUM

Phoenix to TI-Nspire CAS: The Five Engineering Stages

In the New Product Development process are typically five Engineering Stages (without product support) defined:

1. Conception
2. Feasibility
3. Product development
4. Pilot production
5. Full commercialization

With respect to the hardware (printed circuit boards – PCBs) of a completely new calculator like the TI-Nspire CAS you would expect five different "qualities" of the builts:

Stage 3: Prototype (PROTO)
Stage 3: Engineering Validation Test (EVT)
Stage 3: Design Validation Test (DVT)
Stage 4: Production Validation Test (PVT)
Stage 5: Mass Production (MP)

Texas Instruments did us a great favor and used these abbreviations on the PCBs of the various Phoenix 1TI-Nspire CAS+, TI-Nspire CAS and TI-Nspire calculators we and Xavier Andréani acquired over the years for the Datamath Calculator Museum. Breaking this code and understanding the date codes on the PCBs, we can reconstruct the timeline of the TI-Nspire development and discover some new insights.

2006 - The Phoenix 1 / TI-Nspire CAS+ - Another canceled project?

Reconstruction of the timeline should rely on the date codes, not the software version of the calculators. We found "old builds" with updated software looking more recent from the outside than "new builds" with still the original software.

  Phoenix 1 / TI-Nspire CAS+
BUILT Serial Number
Product Name
SW-Version
Date (mm/dd/year)
Main-PCB
Date (wk/yr)
LCD-PCB
Date code (wk/yr)
CPU/ASIC
Date code (wk/yr)
Stage 3, Feb. 2006
EVT Built 1
P1-EVT1-B-0118
Phoenix 1
none
02/15/2006
PH1_EVT2_MB_6412
03/2006
PH1_EVT1_LCDB_2412
51/2005
OMAP
TBD
Stage 3, Apr. 2006
EVT Built 2
P1-EVT2-0135
None
1.0.1.0.334T
05/01/2006
PH1_EVT2_MB_6413
06/2006
PH1_EVT2_LCDB_2413
09/2006
OMAP
TBD
Stage 3, Jun. 2006
DVT Built 1
P1-DVT1-000150
None
1.0.494
07/27/2006
PH1_DVT1_MB_6421
13/2006
PH1_DVT1_LCDB_2421
13/2006
OMAP
TBD
Stage 4, Aug. 2006
PVT Built 1.1
P1-PVT-000180
TI-nspire CAS+
TBD
TBD
PH1_PVT_MB_6430
31/2006
PH1_PVT_LCDB_2430
31/2006
OMAP
TBD
Stage 4.5, Oct. 2006
Ramp up
P1-PVT1.1-02768
TI-nspire CAS+
1.0.554
08/28/2006
PH1_MP_MB_6441
37/2006
PH1_PVT_LCDB_2430
39/2006
OMAP
TBD

Please notice that the mainboard of the TI-Nspire CAS+ with the serial number PVT1.1 02768 is labeled PH1_MP_MB_6441. MP for Mass Production, but it never made it into the shelves of your local dealer!

FYI: The hundreds of TI-Nspire CAS+ calculators you find on eBay since 2007 are usually from this built.


2007 - The TI-Nspire CAS and the new non-CAS version plus TI-84 Plus emulation.

With the TI-Nspire CAS+ out in the field for various tests with teachers and students since 2006, it took quite a while till the official introduction of the TI-Nspire Family in July 2007 (Europe) respectively September 2007 (United States). What happened? We are not completely sure after the inspection of seven different TI-Nspire CAS and non-CAS "Pre-production" and multiple "Production" samples.

  TI-Nspire CAS
BUILT Serial Number
Product Name
SW-Version
Date (mm/dd/year)
Main-PCB
Date (wk/yr)
LCD-PCB
Date code (wk/yr)
CPU/ASIC
Date code (wk/yr)
Stage 3, Jan. 2007
DVT Built 1.2
P1R2-DVT1.2-682
TI-XXXXXXXXXXX
1.2.2344
08/22/2007
P1R2_DVT1.2_MB_6422
02/2007
P3_LB_DVT1.2_2425
03/2007
L9A0654 NS2006A
39/2006
Stage 3, Feb. 2007
DVT Built 2.0
P1R2-DVT2.0-0105
TI-nspire CAS
1.2.2344
08/22/2007
P1R2_DVT2_MB_6423
07/2007
P3_LB_DVT2_2426
TBD
L9A0654 NS2006A
45/2006
Stage 3, Feb. 2007
DVT Built 2.0
P1R2-DVT2.0-3069
TI-nspire CAS
1.1.8408
04/04/2007
P1R2_DVT2_MB_6423
09/2007
P3_LB_DVT2_2426
TBD
L9A0654 NS2006A
04/2007
Stage 5, Apr. 2007
Mass Production
2016002483
TI-nspire CAS
1.1.9170
05/07/2007
P1R2_MP_MB_6440
13/2007
P1R2/P3_LB_MP_2440
TBD
L9A0654 NS2006A-1
05/2007

 

  TI-Nspire non-CAS
BUILT Serial Number
Product Name
SW-Version
Date (mm/dd/year)
Main-PCB
Date (wk/yr)
LCD-PCB
Date code (wk/yr)
CPU/ASIC
Date code (wk/yr)
Stage 3, Feb. 2007
DVT Built 1.2
P3-ASIC-DVT1.2 0318
TI-XXXXXXXXXXX
1.1.9227
05/15/2007
P2/P3 ASIC MB_DVT1.2_6423
03/2007
P3_LB_DVT1.2_2425
03/2007
L9A0654 NS2006A
35/2006
Stage 3, Feb. 2007
DVT Built 1.2
P3-ASIC-DVT1.2 0999
TI-XXXXXXXXXXX
1.1.7320
02/26/2007
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
TBD
Stage 3, Mar. 2007
DVT Built 2.0 - Lot A
A-P3-DVT2.0-0003
TI-nspire
1.1.8008
03/22/2007
P2/P3 ASIC MB_DVT2_6424
06/2007
P3_LB_DVT2_2426
TBD
L9A0654 NS2006A
39/2006
Stage 3, Apr. 2007
DVT Built 2.0 - Lot B
B-P3-DVT2.0-1466
TI-nspire
1.1.8410
04/15/2007
P2/P3 ASIC MB_DVT2_6424
10/2007
P3_LB_DVT2_2426
TBD
L9A0654 NS2006A
45/2006
Stage 5, May 2007
Mass Production
2011007371
TI-nspire
1.1.9170
05/07/2007
P1R2_MP_MB_6440
16/2007
P1R2/P3_LB_MP_2440
TBD
L9A0702 NS2006A-0
14/2007


Everything fits easily into a timeline – even the introduction of the TI-Nspire Family in Summer / Fall 2007. Please remember, the TI-Nspire is software, software, and software.

Everything? Not really, we discovered a major switch in the hardware between the OMAP-based TI-Nspire CAS+ and the ASIC-based TI-Nspire CAS / non-CAS calculators.

With the earliest ASIC we located so far manufactured in August 2006 and a production ready TI-Nspire CAS+ manufactured in October 2006 we still don’t know for sure what happened to the TI-Nspire CAS+. We guess the Phoenix failed!

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

© Joerg Woerner and Xavier Andréani, January 5, 2012. No reprints without written permission.