We appreciate your feedback, comments and suggestions.
As you are probably aware, the semiconductor industry is increasingly blighted by the issue of counterfeit chips and all semiconductor vendors are taking measures to protect their IP and the investment they make in developing innovative new technology. FTDI will continue to follow an active approach to deterring the counterfeiting of our devices, in order to ensure that our customers receive genuine FTDI product. Though our intentions were honorable, we acknowledge that our recent driver update has caused concern amongst our genuine customer base. I assure you, we value our customers highly and do not in any way wish to cause distress to them.
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.
As previously stated, we recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors. http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm
If you are concerned that you might have a non-genuine device, our support team would be happy to help out.
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I, on the other hand, recommend that everyone avoid purchasing FTDI chips ever again. Their drivers are no longer trustworthy.
My 13 year old saved up and bought a special USB cable with an FTDI chip for a device he recently bought from Amazon.com for a STEM project, it was required to program the device. I think the cable he bought as a bundle cost about $10 vs. another that cost over $50. I remember there being some comments on Amazon saying to watch out for fake FTDI chips so I tried to get the most trustworthy one I could but I didn’t buy the most expensive one on the list. He would not have been able to even do the project if the programming cable cost over $50. He’s had a lot of homework this week and I have no idea if his cable is bricked or not, I don’t think the computer we were using to program the device has been updated yet. Hopefully he avoided this fiasco altogether. But I do know that in any future projects I will absolutely be with Nick and advising that he and all the other youth I mentor with STEM projects steer clear of devices that require an FTDI cable whether they are counterfeit or not. Just figuring out the drivers is hard enough let alone running the risk of having a future update mechanism brick the programming cable. It may seem like a little bit of money to you but it makes a big difference to a kid.
What chip do you suggest? Prolific? They have even worse counterfeit issues. I have a handful of cables based on the various chips that are intended to program my VHF and UHF hand held ham radios. I eventually build my own based on an Adafruit USB FTDI card that works great with CHIRP on Ubuntu (the FTDI drivers are included in the distribution). Like SD cards, you just need to buy from a reputable dealer.
Which chip would you suggest in its place? Prolific? There are far more counterfeit issues with that chip than the FTDI.
I have a bunch of these cables that I use to program my Ham VHF and UHF handheld transceivers. I eventually built one using an Adafruit FTDI module. It runs great with CHIRP and Ubuntu (the FTDI drivers are part of the distribution. Like anything else (e.g. SD cards), you need to get them from reputable distributors.