Is my FT232 fake or genuine?

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I bought a few FT232RL from China, quite cheaply. Then I read about
"FTDIgate" where the latest drivers from FTDI would brick fake chips.

I also read here:
http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal

that the genuine chips have laser etched lettering, while the fakes
have painted-on lettering. Mine have painted-on lettering.

So, I download the latest driver from FTDI (version 2.12.6.0) for my
Windows 8.1 and connected one of the chips. It works perfectly. I
disconnected and reconnected several times. Still all good.

Why did it not brick?

Are there fakes that the driver cannot detect as fakes, or are there
genuine chips with painted lettering?
--  
RoRo

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
wrote:

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The 'bricking'in the software was removed, as I recall, due to
customer feedback. Too many products in the field, built in good
faith, that the FTDI software could permanently damage - engendering
product liability to FTDI.

RL

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?

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As I understand it, the new driver was removed from Windows Update,
but I have not seen any mention of the destructive code being removed
from it.

Also, the license terms still warn that the driver may destroy fake
chips: http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/FTDriverLicenceTermsSummary.htm

If they did indeed remove the destructive code, is there somewhere I
could find the destructive driver?
--  
RoRo

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
wrote:

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If chips carry the FTDI marking, and are fakes, FTDI has conventional
methods of redress. If chips from other mfrs employ FTDI proprietary
intellectual property, there are other conventional methods of
redress. None of these involve the end user.

Driver license terms can not absolve either FTDI or HW driver
distributors of liability in the event of end-user injury, as a direct
result of intentional damage to hardware, as could be the case in an
inadvertent 'driver update' to safely functioning hardware.

FTDI revised the driver after Oct 2014 so as not to interfere with
function. Since then, whatever method they are using to identify and
handle invalid PID hasn't raised issues.

I don't know the rev number of the drivers after ver2.08.14 that were
an issue. There were ways around it, depending on your version of
windows, and whatever you expected to do with later hardware or fw
updates.

RL


Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?

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The problem is that these methods are pretty much useless when the
perpetrator is in China.

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OK. But I still want to make sure my chips are genuine. I am designing
them into a product that I hope to sell a few of, so I'd strongly
prefer genuine chips.

At this time, I still have the option to return them to my supplier,
but before I do, I need undisputable proof that they are fake. Is the
painted-on lettering proof enough?

I have searched FDTI's FAQ to see if they have any information on how
to distinguish real from fake chips. I could not find any. Maybe I
should try to contact them.
--  
RoRo

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
wrote:

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firmware revs with issues were 2.11.0 and 2.12.0. Last known
unaffected was 2.10.0 from Jan27 2014.

FTDI's official response to all enquiries re component validity is
redirection to authorized distributors for FTDI components.

What could be simpler?

http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p10%53

RL

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
On Sat, 12 Sep 2015 19:30:56 +0200, the renowned Robert Roland

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With this bricking garbage, maybe consider avoiding FTDI and their
clones altogether and use CH340 chips from WCH in Nanjing. At < 40
cents each, pretty economical.  

--sp  


--  
Best regards,  
Spehro Pefhany
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Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
On Tue, 15 Sep 2015 05:43:27 -0400, Spehro Pefhany

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That's exactly what I have in mind. Unfortunately, I was not aware of
either the bricking issue or the CH340 when I ordered the chips. I
coincidentally stumbled upon it when browsing through Dave Jones' EEV
blog.

Now I want to be able to prove that my chips are fakes so I have a
strong case when I try to return them to the seller. The best proof
would be if I could actually brick one.

I found version 2.12.00 of the driver, installed it and connected one
of the chips. It works perfectly. OK, I have not actually checked if
any data comes out the other end, but the Windows PC detect the USB
device correctly every time.
--  
RoRo

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
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If you _really_ want to be sure, you'll have to remove the epoxy and
look at the silicon die itself under a microscope. Ideally you'll
want a known real chip (or images from the 'net of one) to compare
with.

Here's a good resource for information on how to do it, I've been
wanting to try this myself for years:
http://siliconpr0n.org/wiki/doku.php?id=decap:epoxy

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Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
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Isn't the chip a generic microcontroller?  The reason the
counterfits could be bricked was that they were still  
programmable and the bad driver reprogrammed some of it.  

So a device programmer or a evaluation board with a programmer for
that device that could read the suspect device would show that it's
a counterfit.  Assuming that a real FT232 device would fail to read out.


Mark Zenier   snipped-for-privacy@eskimo.com  
Googleproofaddress(account:mzenier provider:eskimo domain:com)


Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
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Not according to these Real Vs Fake die images:
http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal

Certainly it would make sense for a USB controller to include a
microcontroller internally, but I don't believe the official chip
is an "off the shelf" microcontroller (and it is shown on the above
page that the die has FTDI's name printed on it).

The fake shown on that page does apparently use a somewhat generic
microcontroller to pretend to be a FTDI chip. Looking at the die,
it is easy to differentiate between this and the custom design of
the official chip.

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#_ < |\| |< _#

Re: Is my FT232 fake or genuine?
On Wed, 16 Sep 2015 15:25:03 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@eskimo.com (Mark Zenier)
wrote:

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No.

The VID and PID can be modified on the genuine chip as well.
--  
RoRo

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