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)
220.127.116.11.334T (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.
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© Joerg Woerner, October 23, 2007. No reprints without written permission.