Original Equipment Manufaturers (OEMs)

Made in the USA - this is how Texas Instruments started in 1972 with the introduction of the famous TI-2500 Datamath, TI-3000, and TI-3500 calculators. The last TI calculator manufactured in Lubbock, TX? The TI-7000 II, TI-7140, and TI-7300 II manufactured in 1994 for Texas Instruments' US-built campaign started in 1989.

We wrote the year 1981 when Texas Instruments introduced with the TI-55-II the first product of a very sophisticated calculator line positioned above the "slimline" series from 1978. These calculators combined an innovative architecture with a Master and Slave CPU and an enhanced LC-Display with the keyboard technology from the original slimline series. Unfortunately led some cost reduction measures of the keyboard design to an extremely unreliable design and there was immediately a saying: "The -II designation was evidently for the number of keystrokes that were recorded with one button press".

Texas Instruments was during this difficult time already experienced with contract manufacturers in Far East - we noticed TI-1015 and TI-1020 calculators assembled in Taiwan with Date codes as early as 1980 - and it wasn't too big of a surprise to see the second series of the TI-55 II manufactured starting Summer 1984 by Inventec Corporation in Taiwan with a completely different "Asian-style" keyboard. Inventec was in 1984 the largest calculator producer in Taiwan and expanded soon into Malaysia to take advantage of competitive labor rates. In 1995 the first factory was established in Shanghai, China - manufacturing most of TI's graphing calculator line - before further expanding in China in 2004 to add even engineering services and a logistics center to the then 8 factories. Texas Instruments was and is working with other contract manufacturers, too - we know as of today:

• Calc-Comp Electronics - Taiwan, Thailand
• Compal Electronics - Taiwan, China
• Inventec Corporation - Taiwan, Malaysia, China
• Kinpo Electronics - Taiwan, China, Philippines
• Leo Electronics - Japan, China
• Nam Tai Electronics - China
• Zeny Corporation - Taiwan, China

With permission of the Author