DATAMATH CALCULATOR MUSEUM
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CAS+ (Engineering Validations Tests 2)
|Date of introduction:||(May 2006)||Display technology:|| LCD dot matrix
|New price:||Display size:||240 * 320 pixels|
|Size:|| 7.9" x 3.9" x 0.85"
200 x 100 x 22 mm3
|Weight:||8.8 ounces, 250 grams||Serial No:||P1-EVT2-0135|
|Batteries:||4*AAA||Date of manufacture:||mth 04 year 2006|
|AC-Adapter:||Origin of manufacture:|
|Precision:||14||Integrated circuits:|| CPU: TI-OMAP NP31AZZG
Flash: SST 39VF400A, ST NAND256W3A
Display: Novatek NT7702H, 2*xxx
|Program steps:||20M Bytes, 16M Bytes Flash-ROM||Courtesy of:||Joerg Woerner|
Texas Instruments filed already October 24, 2003 in
CAS+, also known as Phoenix 1, obviously lacks a stylus and seems to trace back
to another root than the "PDA-based graphing calculator", a hype started
early in this millennium with the Hewlett Packard Xpander. This Windows CE based
calculator looked like a PDA with a 240 * 320 pixel gray-scale touch screen,
a small numeric keypad and the stylus. Hewlett Packard canceled the
project February 2001 with just a few prototypes left to the disappointed
market. Dismantling one of the prototypes revealed a design centered around a
Hitachi SH3 RISC-Processor, 8MB of RAM and 16MB of
Japanese calculator company Casio was more successful and introduced in 2002 the ClassPad 300 with a 160 * 240 pixel gray-scale touch screen supporting a lot of stylus based operation like drag-and-drop. This design makes use of the Hitachi SH7291 - a SH3 based RISC-Processor, 0.5M Bytes of RAM and 4M Bytes Flash-ROM.
The ClassPad 300 Plus introduced in 2005 makes use of a much improved display with higher contrast and better readability under low lighting conditions.
This early TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype with the serial number P1-EVT2-0135 was used for Engineering Validation Tests (EVT - learn more about the Five Engineering Stages). At first glance does it look very similar to the final device but we observe some differences with the TI-Nspire CAS introduced in July 2007:
• The color scheme is completely different
• The cursor control makes use of inner and outer keys
• Some function keys have different positions
Please notice that the evaluation of the TI-Nspire Prototypes led to a 2nd generation design with yet another color scheme and keyboard layout. Interesting to learn that these samples were labeled TI-Nspire CAS+ but still sported the "Phoenix" project name on the printed circuit boards (PCB's). Please notice this press release dated May 12, 2006 announcing the New Zealand introduction of the TI-nspire™ CAS+.
Architecture: Dismantling this early TI-Nspire
CAS+ prototype reveals an internal design somewhere between the
PLT-SHH1 prototype based on the sophisticated POMAP1509E and the ZEVIO architecture
of the final TI-Nspire CAS.
Processor: The OMAP™ processor of the TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype is labeled TI-OMAP NP31AZZG. We assume that this tiny chip is actually a System-on-Chip based on the OMAP5912 architecture from Texas Instruments hosting a ARM9 32-bit RISC processor clocked at 78 MHz and a TMS320C55xx Digital Signal Processor core.
Memory: The TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype makes use of three different memory chips:
• NAND Flash-ROM
The disassembled TI-Nspire CAS+ prototype (Manufactured April 2006) features one SST 39VF400A NOR Flash-ROM, manufactured by Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. with a 256k*16 organization and one ST NAND256W3A NAND Flash-ROM with 32M Bytes size.
The program and data memory of the disassembled TI-Nspire CAS+ consists of one Qimonda HYB18L256160 SDRAM with 16M*16 size.
Please notice that all three memory chips are almost identical with the parts located in the released TI-Nspire CAS with the April 2007 manufacturing date. The only difference is the supply voltage, it was lowered from 3.3 volts to 1.8 volts.
Display: The TI-Nspire
CAS+ uses a high-contrast display with a
resolution of 240 * 320 pixels, a huge improvement over the TI-89 Titanium with
100 * 160 pixels or the Voyage 200 with 128 * 240 pixels. The large 16-level
greyscale displays includes a novel split screen capability with up to 4 views.
The driver circuit of the LC-Display is compromised of 2 column driver and one row driver manufactured by Novatek, Taiwan. We located a NT7702H row-driver as bare chip mounted on a flexible piece of circuit board attached between the display and a PCB and two unknown column drivers.
• TI-Nspire CAS+ (Engineering Validation Tests P1-EVT2-0135)
184.108.40.206.334T (May 1, 2006)
Serial Number: 39C21217
You can check the ROM version of your TI-Nspire CAS+ using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:
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Information provided by Xavier Andréani.
Computer Link Software for Windows
Prior to the Nspire CAS's final release, a number of prototype models were developed for evaluation by educational establishments around the world. These units came in numerous color schemes and were all denoted "Nspire CAS+". Some of these prototype CAS+ units were leaked and put up for sale on sites like eBay. As they do not contain final firmware and are not upgradable, TI advises against their purchase.
If you have additions to the above article please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Joerg Woerner, October 23, 2007. No reprints without written permission.