Author Topic: FTDIgate 2.0?  (Read 229577 times)

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Offline os40la

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #375 on: February 04, 2016, 08:32:54 am »
 :popcorn:
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #376 on: February 04, 2016, 08:57:48 am »
It's entertaining to watch the FTDI apologists twist and turn to justify FTDI's tactics. 

The bottom line remains the same: People who unknowingly bought products with fake FTDI chips are being harmed and FTDI's actions are alienating their own customers. 

They are being outdone by other companies with competing products and their actions regarding clones, whether justified or not, are only exacerbating migration of their customers to those alternatives as well as generating a feeling of ill will towards the FTDI brand.
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #377 on: February 04, 2016, 09:00:36 am »
BTW, regarding the quality of their IP: I just tested the SPI mode of the FT2232H with their sample application for the D2XX driver and the SPI_ReadWrite function (with SPI_TRANSFER_OPTIONS_CHIPSELECT_ENABLE and SPI_TRANSFER_OPTIONS_CHIPSELECT_DISABLE, the only modification I made is to transfer 2 bytes). This is how it looks like:

:palm:

"GENUINE FTDI DEVICE FOUND" CONGRATS" PC will self destruct in 50..49..48..47 etc countdown seconds!
Yeah, it's hilarious. For the record: it is already broken in the original code without my modifications (but some chips might work with such a CS strobe signal). Even if I uncomment the define "DEVELOPMENT_FIXED_CS" in fdti_spi.c. Apperently "development" didn't fix it, and the workaround doesn't work either :-DD Now trying bitbang mode.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
 

Offline uno

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #378 on: February 04, 2016, 09:10:39 am »
I've designed and built product using FTDI chips.  Real ones, that were bought from a reputable distributor.

I've known since the specification phase that the windows drivers were licensed only to be used with genuine parts.

I make my living designing and building things, and I totally sympathize with FTDI, and I support what they did.

The drivers for FTDI chips are FTDI's property.  Pretty much standard license terms.  Every time a clone chip uses FTDI's driver, FTDI loses money.  To a product manufacturer, this is an untenable position.

The change that FTDI made to their driver causes the driver to not work properly with cloned chips.  It is not "bricking" the chips, the learned from their 2014 mistake.  The driver just won't work right with them, it injects some text into the serial data stream, and the text describes the problem.  Short of doing nothing, that is the only way they can notify the user that the device is counterfeit.  It's not possible to pop up a message box from inside a device driver.  It may be possible to make some text appear in the device driver's properties box and FTDI might have done this, but somebody would have to look for it.

I have a ton of USB to serial converters around here, and I standardized FTDI after too much trouble with Prolific.  There's a non-zero chance I have one with a fake chip in it, and if that is the case, I'm gonna take my lumps and send hate mail to the vendor, if they are still in business.

Maybe the counterfeiters can write their own driver.  Somehow I doubt that.  When you steal IP, you will probably lose.  When you buy product with stolen IP in it (even if you did not know) it is analogous to receiving stolen property, and you lose.

Uno
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #379 on: February 04, 2016, 09:15:00 am »
It's entertaining to watch the FTDI apologists twist and turn to justify FTDI's tactics. 

The bottom line remains the same: People who unknowingly bought products with fake FTDI chips are being harmed and FTDI's actions are alienating their own customers. 

They are being outdone by other companies with competing products and their actions regarding clones, whether justified or not, are only exacerbating migration of their customers to those alternatives as well as generating a feeling of ill will towards the FTDI brand.

Not really, they are being harmed by whoever sold them the product. Otherwise we all should get Walmart Quality for everything we purchase no matter if you buy at Neiman Marcus you still get the fake stuff.

So take it back to the store and force the manufacturers to check their supplies. Letting fakes taint the distribution chains doesn't help anyone other than the counterfeiters.

Again No one responded yet about purchasing the fake Art Of Electronics 3rd edition or forcing the authors to bring the price down to the same cost as the counterfeiters.

Hey Walmart is good at that, making local companies compete to cheap import prices but with local quality and bringing full companies down because if the company doesn't agree then they can't sell there, if they do, they probably do it at a loss but is better than loosing it all.
 :palm:
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #380 on: February 04, 2016, 09:21:32 am »
I've designed and built product using FTDI chips.  Real ones, that were bought from a reputable distributor.

I've known since the specification phase that the windows drivers were licensed only to be used with genuine parts.

I make my living designing and building things, and I totally sympathize with FTDI, and I support what they did.

The drivers for FTDI chips are FTDI's property.  Pretty much standard license terms.  Every time a clone chip uses FTDI's driver, FTDI loses money.  To a product manufacturer, this is an untenable position.

The change that FTDI made to their driver causes the driver to not work properly with cloned chips.  It is not "bricking" the chips, the learned from their 2014 mistake.  The driver just won't work right with them, it injects some text into the serial data stream, and the text describes the problem.  Short of doing nothing, that is the only way they can notify the user that the device is counterfeit.  It's not possible to pop up a message box from inside a device driver.  It may be possible to make some text appear in the device driver's properties box and FTDI might have done this, but somebody would have to look for it.

I have a ton of USB to serial converters around here, and I standardized FTDI after too much trouble with Prolific.  There's a non-zero chance I have one with a fake chip in it, and if that is the case, I'm gonna take my lumps and send hate mail to the vendor, if they are still in business.

Maybe the counterfeiters can write their own driver.  Somehow I doubt that.  When you steal IP, you will probably lose.  When you buy product with stolen IP in it (even if you did not know) it is analogous to receiving stolen property, and you lose.

Uno

I have absolutely no sympathy on them. If they want to stop counterfeit chips to use their driver, they can simply refuse to work, not screwing up with data.
Also, if one can make chips that conforms to FTDI interface protocol, they can definitely write drivers for that, just no one wants to spend the money to do that. Pay me $2000 and give me protocol specifications, I can clone a FTDI driver for whatever OS for you.

Finally, FTDI having clone trouble is inevitable. Their chips are too expensive, and they are using the same design for years. Microchip, WCH and Silabs all have perfect substitutes for 1/4 of its price, probably even cheaper than clone FTDIs.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #381 on: February 04, 2016, 09:29:26 am »

Again No one responded yet about purchasing the fake Art Of Electronics 3rd edition or forcing the authors to bring the price down to the same cost as the counterfeiters.


That is entirely different.

If Horowitz and Hill were breaking into peoples homes and burning or defacing the copies people had unknowingly bought - then that might be analogous.

No one here has been defending the cloners. The issue is the way FTDI is responding.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #382 on: February 04, 2016, 09:33:21 am »
More food for thought:
What FDTI is doing is basically being a vigilante. Now imagine the grocery store around the corner gets robbed while your wife and children are shopping. Instead of just handing over the money to the robber, hand over the camera footage to the police and collect the insurance money later on the store owner decides to try to shoot the robber but kills your wife and children instead. How would everyone feel about that? I can't imagine a sane person being satisfied by that outcome! My point is: there is a legal system in place for a good reason and that is catching the real bad guys and to prevent collateral damage!
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #383 on: February 04, 2016, 09:39:54 am »
Oh c'mon.  Lighting counterfeits on fire?  Shooting your wife and children?

There's a bit of a disconnect between that and sending out a message that says "non genuine device found"...

Does anybody here have an actual, real, USB->UART equipped device, in your possession, that would explode, go on a killing rampage, or otherwise be permanently destroyed if you were to plug it into your computer, open up hyper terminal, and type "NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND" with your keyboard?  I HIGHLY HIGHLY doubt it.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 09:42:49 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #384 on: February 04, 2016, 09:42:20 am »
Finally, FTDI having clone trouble is inevitable. Their chips are too expensive, and they are using the same design for years. Microchip, WCH and Silabs all have perfect substitutes for 1/4 of its price, probably even cheaper than clone FTDIs.

I don't see that - Digikey prices, $, 1000q

MCP2221   1.62
CP2104      1.25
FT230XQ    1.48

I didn't look for equivalent packages, but they are pretty much in the same ballpark.
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #385 on: February 04, 2016, 09:44:37 am »
Finally, FTDI having clone trouble is inevitable. Their chips are too expensive, and they are using the same design for years. Microchip, WCH and Silabs all have perfect substitutes for 1/4 of its price, probably even cheaper than clone FTDIs.

I don't see that - Digikey prices, $, 1000q

MCP2221   1.62
CP2104      1.25
FT230XQ    1.48

I didn't look for equivalent packages, but they are pretty much in the same ballpark.

People in this thread are conveniently ignoring the modern, lower cost FTDI solutions, because it doesn't fit the bashing.
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #386 on: February 04, 2016, 09:48:59 am »
I am not going to feed you.  If you are serious then what I can say is please get some real exposure from the industries.

I take it you disagree with something I said.  Care to elaborate, or would you like to continue implying anybody who doesn't agree with you is an idiot who can safely be ignored, all while providing absolutely nothing to back up that view?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 09:50:35 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline ve7xen

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #387 on: February 04, 2016, 09:49:07 am »
I find it hilarious how strongly the FTDI apologists think their IP protection should be. Even with western-style IP overreach, the only IP violation of the counterfeits is their outer markings. If they were unmarked, or marked with the manufacturer's markings, they would be totally legal. Reverse engineering and cloning is even encouraged and explicitly allowed for in the functional IP protection that exists. The PC BIOS being cloned in a very similar manner is often touted as the reason for the commodification of PCs. Nobody is claiming the masks were stolen (or the counterfeits would any test...).

Thanks to Windows Update they don't even need to distribute the driver with the device, which means they don't have to violate FTDI's copyright on the driver, it will just load itself anyway.

Using FTDI's VID/PID is perhaps questionable, but so far I don't think IP protection has extended to magic 16-bit numbers.

Their driver can do whatever it wants short of causing permanent damage as they did before, but they are deluded if they think it will do any good whatsoever. The cheap products will do a better job of cloning or move to a different, cheaper chip, and I guarantee they will lose some design wins as a result of engineers avoiding their antics. Getting into an arms race with cloners of what is almost a commodity item at this point is insane. They will lose, and waste lots of money and customer good will doing so.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 09:51:07 am by ve7xen »
73 de VE7XEN
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #388 on: February 04, 2016, 09:51:31 am »
More food for thought:
What FDTI is doing is basically being a vigilante. Now imagine the grocery store around the corner gets robbed while your wife and children are shopping. Instead of just handing over the money to the robber, hand over the camera footage to the police and collect the insurance money later on the store owner decides to try to shoot the robber but kills your wife and children instead. How would everyone feel about that? I can't imagine a sane person being satisfied by that outcome! My point is: there is a legal system in place for a good reason and that is catching the real bad guys and to prevent collateral damage!

There is no such legal system. If I design a chip that mimics FT232RL with my own clean implementation and uses FTDI's PID and VID, there is no way to sue me, even if you are USB-IF.

Also, despite FTDI's driver's license says it is not legal to work with 3rd party chips, that won't work for 2 reasons:
1. The users are using the driver, not chip vendor, so the responsibility falls to the users, not chip maker.
2. Windows installs it automatically without user accepting license agreement, so the license actually have no legal effect at all.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #389 on: February 04, 2016, 09:52:49 am »
Finally, FTDI having clone trouble is inevitable. Their chips are too expensive, and they are using the same design for years. Microchip, WCH and Silabs all have perfect substitutes for 1/4 of its price, probably even cheaper than clone FTDIs.

I don't see that - Digikey prices, $, 1000q

MCP2221   1.62
CP2104      1.25
FT230XQ    1.48

I didn't look for equivalent packages, but they are pretty much in the same ballpark.

I was talking about the old, clumsy FT232RL.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #390 on: February 04, 2016, 09:53:52 am »
Finally, FTDI having clone trouble is inevitable. Their chips are too expensive, and they are using the same design for years. Microchip, WCH and Silabs all have perfect substitutes for 1/4 of its price, probably even cheaper than clone FTDIs.

I don't see that - Digikey prices, $, 1000q

MCP2221   1.62
CP2104      1.25
FT230XQ    1.48

I didn't look for equivalent packages, but they are pretty much in the same ballpark.

I was talking about the old, clumsy FT232RL.

Which is only ever used in recent years because of counterfeits being cheap.

That and Arduino users not knowing how to do anything but copy and paste.
 

Offline all_repair

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #391 on: February 04, 2016, 09:58:18 am »
Almost at zero cost, the FUD strategy (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is used on competitor product in keeping and in gaining customers, and in charging a premium.

You can test all you want at the point of purchase of your FDTI, but you never know what FDTI you really get, they may or may not work weeks, months, or years down the road.   FDTI is one of the rare companies that did, and is continuing doing FUD to their own brand.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 10:05:03 am by all_repair »
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #392 on: February 04, 2016, 10:10:20 am »
The bottom line remains the same: People who unknowingly bought products with fake FTDI chips are being harmed and FTDI's actions are alienating their own customers. 

They're being harmed all right--by the counterfeit chip makers and the people who have lost control of their supply chain--not FTDI. While I'm sorry these people ended up with unusable products, the blame lies with whoever they bought it from (or upstream from there).

When the U.S. Secret Service confiscates counterfeit currency, even if you received it unknowingly, they are NOT going to replace the bogus currency they seize with genuine dollars. They're effectively denying you the use of that money. Same with FTDI--they're denying your use of their drivers with your counterfeit product, even though you may not have knowingly bought it with bogus parts (although I'm sure that a lot of people would buy such an item even knowing that it had counterfeit parts if it's cheaper than the same thing with legitimate chips).
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #393 on: February 04, 2016, 10:18:09 am »

When the U.S. Secret Service confiscates counterfeit currency, even if you received it unknowingly, they are NOT going to replace the bogus currency they seize with genuine dollars.

And if counterfeiting was a widespread problem (it's not) and the government suddenly had a widespread policy of seizing and not replacing a large number of average peoples cash that would be similarly wrongheaded and self-destructive.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #394 on: February 04, 2016, 10:20:45 am »
The bottom line remains the same: People who unknowingly bought products with fake FTDI chips are being harmed and FTDI's actions are alienating their own customers. 

They're being harmed all right--by the counterfeit chip makers and the people who have lost control of their supply chain--not FTDI. While I'm sorry these people ended up with unusable products, the blame lies with whoever they bought it from (or upstream from there).

When the U.S. Secret Service confiscates counterfeit currency, even if you received it unknowingly, they are NOT going to replace the bogus currency they seize with genuine dollars. They're effectively denying you the use of that money. Same with FTDI--they're denying your use of their drivers with your counterfeit product, even though you may not have knowingly bought it with bogus parts (although I'm sure that a lot of people would buy such an item even knowing that it had counterfeit parts if it's cheaper than the same thing with legitimate chips).

That's fine. But dumping trash data or frying chips are not fine.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #395 on: February 04, 2016, 10:30:02 am »
That's fine. But dumping trash data or frying chips are not fine.

And making counterfeit chips or otherwise ripping off FTDI's IP is fine? Maybe in China, but not where I'm from.

Sure, FTDI took the nuclear option here, but I think they're completely justified in doing so.
 

Offline Sal Ammoniac

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #396 on: February 04, 2016, 10:32:27 am »
And if counterfeiting was a widespread problem (it's not) and the government suddenly had a widespread policy of seizing and not replacing a large number of average peoples cash that would be similarly wrongheaded and self-destructive.

They already do it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_United_States
 

Offline suicidaleggroll

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #397 on: February 04, 2016, 10:32:38 am »
And if counterfeiting was a widespread problem...

Do you have any reason to believe this FTDI counterfeit problem is any more widespread (outside of the cheap clone devices on eBay/Ali)?  Has anybody here purchased any FTDI device from a legitimate distributor in the last, say, 6 months and received a fake?  I've purchased hundreds over the last 2-3 years, and have never seen one (at least none has ever been detected as such by their driver).
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 10:34:43 am by suicidaleggroll »
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #398 on: February 04, 2016, 10:32:53 am »
That's fine. But dumping trash data or frying chips are not fine.

And making counterfeit chips or otherwise ripping off FTDI's IP is fine? Maybe in China, but not where I'm from.

Sure, FTDI took the nuclear option here, but I think they're completely justified in doing so.

Cloning die is a big no go. Cloning protocol, as long as it was not patented, is fine at least in China. But you CAN NOT put FTDI logo on the chip, of course.
 

Offline timb

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Re: FTDIgate 2.0?
« Reply #399 on: February 04, 2016, 10:35:36 am »

The bottom line remains the same: People who unknowingly bought products with fake FTDI chips are being harmed and FTDI's actions are alienating their own customers. 

They're being harmed all right--by the counterfeit chip makers and the people who have lost control of their supply chain--not FTDI. While I'm sorry these people ended up with unusable products, the blame lies with whoever they bought it from (or upstream from there).

When the U.S. Secret Service confiscates counterfeit currency, even if you received it unknowingly, they are NOT going to replace the bogus currency they seize with genuine dollars. They're effectively denying you the use of that money. Same with FTDI--they're denying your use of their drivers with your counterfeit product, even though you may not have knowingly bought it with bogus parts (although I'm sure that a lot of people would buy such an item even knowing that it had counterfeit parts if it's cheaper than the same thing with legitimate chips).

That's fine. But dumping trash data or frying chips are not fine.

This. Refuse to load the driver and print a message to the system log, but don't spew trash data out and don't brick the chips. This isn't hard to understand...

Since you guys love extreme analogies so much, here's one for you:

FTDI just keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper; their disgruntled customers are pissing in the hole; all while the counterfeiters shit in it. Eventually they're going to drown in a hole full of piss and shit. 
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic; e.g., Cheez Whiz, Hot Dogs and RF.
 


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