Interesting story on chip manufacture bricking devices.

Community Forums/Technical Discourse/Interesting story on chip manufacture bricking devices.

Richard Betson(Posted 2017) [#1]

Skip to time index 8:52.

Pretty interesting vblog from EEVblog that discusses FTDI bricking devices that use a counterfeit FTDI USB-to-serial chips. Using Windows update to force a new driver FTDI was bricking devices by rewriting (via the new driver) the device ID of the chip to zero which essentially bricks the chip and the device using it.

Without going into the chip supply chain and how wide spread counterfeiting is, this move from FTDI is perhaps a view of things to come for Windows users. Will other chip or devices manufactures follow FTDI's lead and use Windows 10's forced updates to brick a devices? I hope not.

RustyKristi(Posted 2017) [#2]
Nothing to worry about as who wants to buy or use counterfeit devices. PC devices today are now cheaper compared X years ago.

Unless there's something special about that chip idk.

Richard Betson(Posted 2017) [#3]
That particular chip is used on many devices. Manufactures buy chips from suppliers which are in more then a few instances passing along counterfeits. The device manufacture or the chip supplier may not know that a particular chip is a counterfeit. Counterfeit chips are a problem in the industry and even though your device may be from a reputable manufacture it may have counterfeit chips within it.

The chip in question here is hard to procure because of it's popularity. That makes it a target for counterfeits.

Panno(Posted 2017) [#4]
haha .. second time . its so mad but maybe ftdi give you some new hardware after killing your

RustyKristi(Posted 2017) [#5]
Ok so if you bought a reliable board with legit chips and you bought a usb device with a counterfeit, it does not matter and both gets bricked? If not then what's the problem.

I don't suppose trusted manufacturers like Asus/Intel is getting counterfeit chips?

Richard Betson(Posted 2017) [#6]
Put simply all devices from any manufacture have the potential to have counterfeit silicone within in them. It has to do with the supply chain for IC chips and in large part is beyond the control of the industry as of mow.

So Asus or any other manufacture sourcing silicone components that are not directly purchased from the IC chip manufacture (many top tier device manufactures use third party suppliers) are at risk to have counterfeit IC chips. It's not a choice to chose counterfeit chips it's a corruption of the supply chain. Also I am not talking small numbers of chips here. Millions of counterfeits for a single chip can be dumped into the supply chain (over time) and once there are nearly impossible (at least not practical) to identify and remove.

RustyKristi(Posted 2017) [#7]
Ah ok got it. So another reason to ditch Win10 then. no prob

and thanks for the link vid

Floyd(Posted 2017) [#8]
This doesn't seem to have been a huge problem. The letter at the start of the video is dated October 24, 2014 and this is the first I've heard of it.

dawlane(Posted 2017) [#9]
Apparently Future Technology Devices International did take heed about bricking the device. Now when a fake one is detected it disrupts the device communication with ASCII transmissions of "NON GENUINE DEVICE FOUND!".

Dabhand(Posted 2017) [#10]

This doesn't seem to have been a huge problem.

Because it isnt, it's a problem people grasp at for the purpose of undermining something they have a personal hatred for, and using it as a tool to get people 'onside'

I think people just need to get out more personally!


Richard Betson(Posted 2017) [#11]
Nothing like that. Just musing the potential pitfalls of the future. At any rate use whatever OS you like it's no worries here.

@dawlane / Floyd
That vblog is dated and I should have seen that (sent by an acquaintance).

It is interesting (as stated in the vblog) that FTDI did change the method from bricking a device to a driver block and warning. I had never heard of this and found the story interesting.

Edit: I changed the thread title to keep the peace. ;)

skidracer(Posted 2017) [#12]
So modern PC have worse time keeping ability than computer 30 years it's senior and the complexity of using a serial port is now in proprietary control. I agree with Richard Betson, we are all doomed. Doomed!

Dabhand(Posted 2017) [#13]
Because of Mr Betson, I'm planning on using something, well, outlandish...

Yes... I have been to WH Smith and yes... I've bought...


Thank you Richard... I am safe from every form of whatever it is you sprout about!!!


Your Blitzbasic threads have saved me.. god bless you!

Nothing like that.

Check your history, you hate Microsoft, we get it... Get over it, or at least, be more balanced!

Just musing the potential pitfalls of the future.

I actually just 'lol' in real life! Pitfalls?

So you agree that people have a right to sell off knock off gear, with no safety checks like... You know... Legit companies have to go through... Do me a favour!

At any rate use whatever OS you like it's no worries here.

Here, I use all sorts.. MS, Apple, Linux, Google...

I'm not blinkered though, I know they are all c****... Difference is between me and you is, I dont make it a hobby to slag off one... If I was bothered... The f***ing lot would get it...

But I like reality though... And I realise what my life span is to be bothered by petty bollocks!

Good day! :)