FTDI counterfeit FT232 chip?

So I was able to run the Bus Pirate with an older driver under various Windows flavours but there is still the fact that it also should work with the latest drivers.

Kamcm on the Dangerous Prototype forum digged up some links to the Arduino forum where folks were discussing the problems of a counterfeited FTDI chip. He might be right with that.

I asked Kevin from Seeed Studio if I could help them further (without having to send the “working” Bus Pirate) to China. Some Bus Pirate devices that can’t run the latest driver already arrived at the store so we checked the part numbers. One look at the the silk-screen on the FT232 chip¬†tells us that my little BP could be a counterfeit. Seeed is investigating this chip with FTDI and has send some of the chips to a “counterfeit authenticate lab center”.

FTDI counterfeit chip on a Bus Pirate?

FTDI counterfeit chip on a Bus Pirate?

Its good to know that Seeed and Dangerous Prototype (and the people on the forum) are digging into it. Its easy to buy these parts thinking they are the real deal.

Sjaak on the DP forum explained it this way:
My guess there went something wrong in the supply chain and they bought a batch of bad (rejects) or counterfeit products. I been a couple of times into shenzhen and it is terrible hard to distinguish between genuine and fake parts (and all the variations in between). The price of the part doesnt always tell the difference. Seeed (and I think most manufacturers) have a selected trusted sources for their parts, but sometimes it slips through. 

We will wait and see. Seeed wil contact us when they know more about the chips. Time will tell. In the meanwhile I am able to use the Bus Pirate with the older driver and one piece of hardware I don’t want to work without anymore.

2 thoughts on “FTDI counterfeit FT232 chip?

  1. Devgiant

    I ordered one bus pirate from seeed a couple of days ago…. I’ve read the comments on the forum about the issue but I thought it was only the driver problem, I think I should have waited…as it seems :/

    1. Pieter

      As I understood it, they send out a new batch of Bus Pirate devices.. And for the rest (even if its a counterfeit chip) the Bus Pirate works great except that I can not run the latest Windows driver. Under Linux you even don’t know about it since it will work out of the box (Debian stable).


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