Author Topic: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??  (Read 759770 times)

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Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1575 on: November 14, 2014, 07:14:07 pm »
Well quite right seen from a marketing and sales perspective...no engineer with more than two braincells will ever again use their stuff :P

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1576 on: November 14, 2014, 07:24:52 pm »
29 more posts and I'm still waiting to hear of one example dev board that got bricked and what the manufacturer said about it......
I suspect that people with products out there that have been bricked by FTDI have much better things to do than participate in this forum.
Like recovering whatever they can of their corporate reputations.  Not to mention that they may have been cautioned by their legal counsel not to say anything in public.
Clearly FTDI has no concept of corporate reputation, but that is the typical arrogance of monopoly.
Time will tell whether they really have as big a monopoly as they think they have.
 

Offline tszaboo

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1577 on: November 14, 2014, 07:25:28 pm »
I've explained to them, that actual engineers bricked their dev boards, which has nothing to do with FTDI. Of course that is the dev board's manufacturer's problem.

So which dev boards have been bricked and what did their manufacturer say about it?

29 more posts and I'm still waiting to hear of one example dev board that got bricked and what the manufacturer said about it......
29 seconds of google search:
http://letsmakerobots.com/content/dead-arduino-clones-and-ftdi-chips
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Online nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1578 on: November 14, 2014, 07:32:23 pm »
The Ebay seller I got my boards from has promised to send me new boards with genuine FTDI chips. I should receive those in the next 2 weeks. If they don't arrive I'll definitely open an Ebay/Paypal claim. In other words: it may take time before suppliers can respond.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline electr_peter

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1579 on: November 14, 2014, 07:32:53 pm »
29 more posts and I'm still waiting to hear of one example dev board that got bricked and what the manufacturer said about it......
FTDI surely have "bricked" FTDI parts out of my designs.

I will gladly sell any gear with bricked FTDI chips that I find for Rufus at nominal price of $1.
 

Offline dannyf

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1580 on: November 14, 2014, 07:47:38 pm »
Quote
FTDI surely have "bricked" FTDI parts out of my designs.

I am pretty sure lots of people at FTDI are losing sleep over not having your business anymore, :)

Quote
I will gladly sell any gear with bricked FTDI chips that I find for Rufus at nominal price of $1.

That can be a great deal or a terrible deal, depending entirely on what you can find.
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Offline Rufus

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1581 on: November 14, 2014, 08:06:24 pm »
I've explained to them, that actual engineers bricked their dev boards, which has nothing to do with FTDI. Of course that is the dev board's manufacturer's problem.

So which dev boards have been bricked and what did their manufacturer say about it?

29 more posts and I'm still waiting to hear of one example dev board that got bricked and what the manufacturer said about it......
29 seconds of google search:
http://letsmakerobots.com/content/dead-arduino-clones-and-ftdi-chips

So which actual engineers were using these cheap crap made in china toy robots? The guy there that said
 
Quote
I refuse to spend shiteloads of time checking the supply chain of everything I buy. I also refuse to buy from the few overpriced dealers that may be "safe". And even if I should end up with a fake chip I doubt that I would even bother to send it back to the seller. It's just too much of a hassle.

So I'll continue to go for the best offers I can find, only now I'll do my very best to avoid anything that has an FTDI chip on it.
?

 

Offline (*steve*)

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1582 on: November 15, 2014, 04:09:01 am »
I've just received my cheap eBay FTDI board and I am extremely disappointed that it evaluates as a genuine chip.  :-//

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/231324418604

It was a bit cheaper when I bought it ($AUD5.79).

The markings on the chip are very indistinct when viewed under diffuse light.  I can make out FTDI / 1402-C / CN480661 / FT232RL

Any idea if this *looks* like a real one?
 

Offline nitro2k01

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1583 on: November 15, 2014, 04:34:34 am »
Steve: You have a narrow focus depth, that is perfectly focused on the chip's pins! Could you please adjust the focus? Or if the camera only has automatic focus, set the focus area to center and try again.
Whoa! How the hell did Dave know that Bob is my uncle? Amazing!
 

Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1584 on: November 15, 2014, 04:44:23 am »
So which actual engineers were using these cheap crap made in china toy robots? The guy there that said ...

Well, you asked for an example, it was provided to you, and you keep dissing people and products. Not cool.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline (*steve*)

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1585 on: November 15, 2014, 07:19:49 am »
Steve: You have a narrow focus depth, that is perfectly focused on the chip's pins! Could you please adjust the focus? Or if the camera only has automatic focus, set the focus area to center and try again.

You're right, it was a pretty embarrassing effort.

 

Online nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1586 on: November 15, 2014, 10:24:34 am »
AFAIK the laser marked ones are not made by FTDI; they do look much better and more modern than the chips from FTDI. I have not tested it yet but the newer FTDI drivers probably don't brick devices.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 10:27:04 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline StuB

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1587 on: November 15, 2014, 02:40:14 pm »
I've just received my cheap eBay FTDI board and I am extremely disappointed that it evaluates as a genuine chip.  :-//
You bought via ebay, ergo it is fake by default.

I've just received my cheap eBay FTDI board and Any idea if this *looks* like a real one?
Doesn't matter.  You didn't buy the chip via an authorized reseller and solder it onto the board yourself / bought the widget from a genuine chip customer (the ones they won't name), ergo it is fake by default.

Even if you were to dissolve the top, put it under a microscope, and deduce that it is an exact duplicate of a genuine FTDI chip: that just means the counterfeiter in question must have been doing a better job; fake by default applies.
 

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1588 on: November 15, 2014, 03:07:03 pm »
The real question is...could one expect to receive counterfit FTDI from Mouser, DigiKey and so on ? Cause then we are in deep shit :P

Offline zapta

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1589 on: November 15, 2014, 03:18:04 pm »
The real question is...could one expect to receive counterfit FTDI from Mouser, DigiKey and so on ? Cause then we are in deep shit :P

Not really, just design without FTDI.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1590 on: November 15, 2014, 03:21:02 pm »
The real question is...could one expect to receive counterfit FTDI from Mouser, DigiKey and so on ? Cause then we are in deep shit :P

Not really, just design without FTDI.

True that...quite easy with ATmega32u4 :)

Offline dannyf

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1591 on: November 15, 2014, 03:25:39 pm »
Quote
The real question is...could one expect to receive counterfit FTDI from Mouser, DigiKey and so on ?

Anything is possible - there is always a non-zero probability that you could receive counterfit FTDI from FTDI itself.

The name of the game is how probable is it? If you are buying cheap boards / chips from ebay, you would be a fool if you don't suspect it being fake; If you are buying from FTDI direct or reputable distributors like Mouser / Digikey / etc., you would be a fool if you spend lots of efforts asserting its authenticity.

That doesn't mean a fake from FTDI/Mouser/Digikey and the likes wouldn't happen - it is just it is far less likely to happen.
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Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1592 on: November 15, 2014, 03:36:52 pm »
Well I cant think of anybody who would buy their coponents on ebay if it is for production and sales. Cause then he or she could face some serious legal problems or economical issues when the circuits fails :)
But for personal use....sure why not :)

But if one receives counterfit components from Mouser, Digikey etc. then it ought to be possible to make theese providers responsible ?

Online nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1593 on: November 15, 2014, 04:29:19 pm »
Well I cant think of anybody who would buy their coponents on ebay if it is for production and sales. Cause then he or she could face some serious legal problems or economical issues when the circuits fails :)
I don't think people in a procurement department will buy from Ebay but they would buy from any parts broker if there are no other suppliers able to deliver a part.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline janengelbrecht

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1594 on: November 15, 2014, 04:43:31 pm »
Well I cant think of anybody who would buy their coponents on ebay if it is for production and sales. Cause then he or she could face some serious legal problems or economical issues when the circuits fails :)
I don't think people in a procurement department will buy from Ebay but they would buy from any parts broker if there are no other suppliers able to deliver a part.

So what you are saying is...production comes before security ? Ok this sounds like gambling

Offline dannyf

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1595 on: November 15, 2014, 04:51:10 pm »
Quote
then it ought to be possible to make theese providers responsible ?

Anything is possible.

According to quantum theory, it is also possible that you will totally disintegrate in the next second and re-emerge on a planet two galaxies away.

And I am not kidding there.

You have trouble understanding the difference between what's probable and what's possible.
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Online nctnico

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1596 on: November 15, 2014, 05:05:54 pm »
Well I cant think of anybody who would buy their coponents on ebay if it is for production and sales. Cause then he or she could face some serious legal problems or economical issues when the circuits fails :)
I don't think people in a procurement department will buy from Ebay but they would buy from any parts broker if there are no other suppliers able to deliver a part.
So what you are saying is...production comes before security ? Ok this sounds like gambling
One of the most challenging parts of producing electronics is purchasing the parts. Every now and then companies or distributors are forced to buy from brokers if there is a shortage. And I'm not talking tens of thousands of pieces. Getting 50 pieces can be just as problematic. To avoid that problem it is a good design practise to only use parts which are widely available and preferably parts for which there is a functional equivalent. From that perspective FTDI also hurt their own business by taking away the possibility to use a second source.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline StuB

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1597 on: November 15, 2014, 05:10:02 pm »
But if one receives counterfit components from Mouser, Digikey etc. then it ought to be possible to make theese providers responsible ?
Yes, they would be the ones to be held responsible, as many have pointed out - just like the manufacturer of the widget is responsible to the store, and the store is responsible to the end user.  The actual question is how much of that responsibility are they going to bear?
For most people hit by this particular 'bricking', they can go complain go the stores, and either they'll replace it, or they'll laugh in your face and wish you good luck navigating the asian legal terrain for a sub-$100 product; if you're lucky you used ebay/paypal/credit card/something and you can open a dispute and at least get that money back while sending the seller a message.

But say you're not just an end-user and you make the actual products and you do get a bad batch of counterfeits - won't speculate on how, or the odds, just say it did happen - they're in products, they've been sent all over the world, a driver update comes along and says it won't work.

You get a tweet from one of your customers, asking why the device won't work (presuming the driver isn't going to scream bloody murder about counterfeits) or why the driver is screaming bloody murder about your product being counterfeit (no, they wouldn't really get the distinction about it complaining about the chip).

1. Wonder what on Earth your customer is on about, ask them for details, because you haven't a clue what's going on with that.
2. Check with legal and marketing&communications about how to best handle this counterfeit allegation before the press runs with it.
3. Get details from the user several hours later - maybe it's just a screenshot, there's not a whole lot they're likely to be going to be able to provide unless they know how to get driver versions and such; Windows tries to hide that, after all, as the user needn't be burdened by it.
4. Start an internal investigation into this matter, checking your various products that use the chip in question, from various batches, hunt down old stock just in case it's limited to just a specific batch, maybe even get the customer to send it in - on your expense - and fedex overnight them a replacement so that they can be on their way again while you figure out what's goig on.
5. In the mean time realize that your support people are dealing with several other tweets, facebook messages, e-mails and phonecalls, so put pressure on marcom for a statement, and then have that run by legal to make sure you're not shooting yourself in the foot with any of the words you're using.
6. Finally figure out that this is definitely related to a driver update that the users were not aware of and you certainly weren't aware of and, after making a call to your supplier, realize they weren't aware of it either.  Still not sure why the driver's doing what it's doing.
7. Figure out that the issue is limited to just a specific batch of a specific product - now figure out what tape reels were used for that run, and see if the chips off of it were used anywhere else after all.
8. In the mean time, contact your supplier saying there's something wrong with a particular batch of chips you got.  The supplier vaguely recalls your phone call from a few days ago, and tells you to mail the thing in for analysis.
9. Some time passes, because you told them that it seems to be just this particular set of reels, so it's not like there's a very high priority to deal with it as far as they're concerned, and - after they do a back-and-forth with the chip maker - tells you that the chip is counterfeit.
10. Because it's counterfeit, you figure you should do the right thing and issue a recall / trade-in program. Yes, that means that your company name is going to be mentioned here and there in connection with counterfeiting, despite marketing & communication's best effort to make the earlier statement deflect as much of the blame as possible.  And yes, you will be blamed - just see the reactions here who suggest that end-users should take it up with their device manufacturers.

There's more steps if you really want to dot your i's and cross your t's, or there could be far fewer if you're just small fry and far less informal.

But which steps do you, realistically, believe a supplier is going to indemnify you for?  Make sure you read those contracts you agree to when sourcing from them.
Mouser: http://www2.mouser.com/saleterms/
Digikey: http://www.digikey.com/en/terms-and-conditions
Farnell: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:oI-D6AK95PUJ:uk.farnell.com/terms-and-conditions&hl=en&strip=1 - (cached version - 'scheduled maintenance' at live site)
Conrad: http://www.conrad.com/ce/en/content/extra_service_pick_up/Warranty-Return-Repair
Note that none mention counterfeit explicitly* - you would have to put that somewhere under infringement (generally disclaimed) or failure to deliver the product ordered (mouser gives you 90 days - did that driver update occur after 90 days of you receiving those reels?) or some other thing that you can find either in their contracts, or in the applicable laws for where you run your business/they run theirs.
(* Except for the purposes of returns - they don't want you slipping counterfeit product into returns. )

In short: Sure, you can hold the supplier responsible.  Good luck with that.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1598 on: November 16, 2014, 12:01:05 am »
this reminds me of nikon.  ...
ftdi, join the nikon and sony club.  you don't even exist to me, anymore.

Let's say that Nikon has the best optics all around and you are a professional photographer. Would you still pass on Nikon and end up with lower quality prints that put you behind your competition?

I guess you are free to do that.

Edit: and should Nikon allow lenses that didn't pass their strict quality control and end up in the grey market, to be treated as their gear? Lowering the overall quality of the products they provide?

Edit: On that as well, try to take an authentic grey market luxury watch to a jeweler and report what happens.

re: "...should Nikon allow lenses that didn't pass their strict quality control and end up in the grey market..."

Nikon used to (and likely continues to) brand the stuff slightly different for different markets.
Nikon is the main brand, Nikkormat is a slightly lower cost line.  I have a mix of Nikon gear.  I use Nikormat for jobs in harsher environment (such as shoots near water).

Nikkormat (double K) for the export market.   Nikormat (single K)  for the domestic (Japan).   With some Nikon gear, you would see Nikkor branded lens vs Nikon branded lens (same lens).

The Nikormat (single K) sold outside of Japan are "grey" with exactly the same manufacturing and QA.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
« Reply #1599 on: November 16, 2014, 12:29:50 am »
Have you expected an honest answer? I wouldn't be surprised if FTDI's booth is the most deserted one.
I dont know. Usually CEOs dont give the "be an a$$ehole, like me" command for their sales people. But I must say, I've noticed that companies tend to collect people with the same mentalities in the senior management. If I would have seen any remorse in their eyes, a facepalm or anything human, instead of the "copying is bad for the industry", I wouldn't have written what I wrote.

The lack of conscience and empathy seems to be a beneficial soft skill for senior management ;) It makes some tasks more easy to cope with, like firing 1000 employees or shutting down a business division. The sales people at the booth are paid to sell stuff and they want to keep their jobs. Of course they got some instructions on dealing with questions regarding FTDIgate and I'd also assume most of them don't fully understand FTDIgate. It's just some driver issue for them. I've done a lot of pre/post-sales support and have been member of booth teams a few times being the engineer. Only a few sales people really know about the product they're selling, because their job is to sell and not to know how some product/service works. For technical questions there are technical account managers or an engineer in case of a small company. If I would work for FDTI I would say something like "Sorry, but I can't tell you much because I'm not involved in the driver developement. Please ask the sales guy over there." to end the conversation. Since I would know the whole story, I'd would be embarrassed and try to avoid the topic. The sales guy will happily talk to you until you become dizzy ;)

re: "...I dont know. Usually CEOs dont give the "be an a$$ehole, like me" command for their sales people..."

I'm not sure about that.

If memory serves...  from business books, I recall reading about one CEO who said to his staff: "when you have the customer's balls by the hand, their heart and mind will follow."  I forgot what book it was from, so I wont cite names as I cannot support it.  But the CEO the author was citing was a famous one with a business school named after him (well, he donated a lot to that school I suppose.)

re: "The lack of conscience and empathy seems to be a beneficial soft skill for senior management ;) It makes some tasks more easy to cope with, like firing 1000 employees or shutting down a business division..."

In some sense, you are right.  Some no doubt don't think much of firing 1000, some will go through heart wrenching decisions picking who to save.  However, "lacking conscience and empathy" would be too big a draw-back with many other decision making process.  Lacking empathy alone will greatly reduce the quality of his/her decisions lack alone lacking conscience.
 


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