Texas Instruments TI-83

Date of introduction:  Jan.10, 1996 Display technology:  LCD dot matrix
New price:  $125 Display size:  8 * 16 characters
Size:  7.2" x 3.2" x 0.80"
 182 x 81 x 20 mm3
Weight:  6.4 ounces, 182 grams Serial No:  30015421
Batteries:  4*AAA + CR1620 (35mA) Date of manufacture:  mth 04 year 1996 (A)
AC-Adapter:   Origin of manufacture:  Taiwan (I)
Precision:  14 Integrated circuits:  CPU: Toshiba T84C00A
 ASIC: Toshiba TC14L010
 RAM: SRM2A256
 Display: Toshiba T6A04
Program steps:  27k Bytes Courtesy of:  Joerg Woerner

From a users point of view the TI-83 is compatible with the TI-82 but added some financial functions and the "official" support of assembly programming. A smart decision, the TI-83 developed itself as a popular programming platform and prepared the tremendous success of the TI-83 Plus.

From a technical point of view is the TI-83 very similar to the TI-82 but doubled the capacity of the Read Only Memory from 32k Bytes to 64k Bytes. Texas Instruments revised this architecture already in 1997 and replaced the discrete Z80 CPU and supporting ASIC with the Toshiba T6C79 Application Specific CPU. This high integrated chip found its way not only into the TI-83, but the TI-82 Parcus and TI-83 Parcus introduced in 2001, too. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators. In 2004 even the software of the TI-83 morphed into the TI-82 STATS

Disassembling this TI-83 manufactured in April 1996 by Inventec Corporation in Taiwan reveals no big surprises. It makes use of just 5 main components on the printed circuit boards (PCBs):

Z80 microprocessor
Toshiba TC14L010 ASIC with glue logic
ATMEL AT27C020 - 256k Bytes OTP ROM (One-time Programmable Read-only Memory) for internal program storage
Samsung KM62256 - 32k Bytes SRAM for user program and data
Toshiba T6A04A - display driver

The glue logic of the TI-83 is integrated into a Toshiba TC14L010 ASIC, known already from the first edition of the TI-82. Learn more about the Hardware Architecture of TI’s Graphing Calculators.

A deeper exploration of the display board shows the unbelievable high density of electrical connections between the Toshiba T6A04 display controller and the graphics screen.

A special "teacher version" called TI-83 VSC combines the standard TI-83 features with a port to connect to a ViewScreen panel via a cable. Placing the panel on the overhead projector enlarges the image of the handheld screen so that each student can follow along.

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 colorful slide cases developed for the TI-83 Plus, they fit on the TI-83, too.

The design of the TI-83 was changed shortly after the introduction of the TI-73, find the official statement from Texas Instruments' website below:

The slightly different look of the popular TI-82 and TI-83 graphing calculators is in response to the very positive educator reaction to the design, display viewability and rugged construction of the new TI-73 middle grades graphing calculator. Appearance changes to the TI-83 are limited to rounder key shapes and a raised display. The TI-82 change is more dramatic, as the product looks much rounder than the original boxy style. The key shapes for the TI-82 are also rounded. 

© Texas Instruments, March 1999


The TI-83 was mentioned in TI's press release dated August 15, 2002 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its invention of the electronic calculator.



You can check the ROM version of your TI-83 using the following key sequence and reading the number on your screen:


Information provided by and Xavier Andréani.

Exam acceptance:

The TI-83 is permitted (as of September 27, 2007) for use on SAT, ACT, PSAT and AP exams.

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If you have additions to the above article please email:

© Joerg Woerner, July 16, 2020. No reprints without written permission.