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I was planning to buy this FT2232HL FTDI board from Aliexpress for basic FIFO applications. It is obviously fake; being cheaper than the entire chip itself and having no "FTDI" marking on top of it.

I was wondering, what should I expect from this product in terms of performance and endurance? Will this device function properly or simply missing a key feature that is not noticeable at first look, such as the 4K buffer or some important protection? No need to mention infamous "FTDIgate", I suppose.

I'm basically an electronics hobbyist, so simple words really appreciated, although not necessary. Thanks...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have some devices here that were built with FTDI "behave similar" IC -- the CH340G/CH341G. You might be referring to those. If so, they are not exact duplicates. They solve similar problems, but I think they require slightly different drivers under Windows, for example. So far as the devices I have here? They work just fine. I've had no problems. But I haven't made extensive use of them, either. Mostly, I've just lost any fear in using them, I suppose. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk Nov 25 '18 at 3:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ not everyone pays digikey's retail price. \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Nov 25 '18 at 4:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ FTDI could brick them with a driver update \$\endgroup\$ – alex.forencich Nov 25 '18 at 6:43
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Those might actually be real. Parts are often available in China for far less than elsewhere. The seller has probably concealed the FTDI logo in their photos for trademark reasons; I've seen other Chinese vendors do the same thing with other parts.

I've never seen a fake FT2232HL in the wild -- the counterfeits I've seen have all been of the vastly more common FT232RL -- and the rest of the markings on this chip all have the exact same format and placement as those on a real part. It would be highly unusual for a counterfeiter to perfectly reproduce all of the markings on a part except for the logo.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On the other hand, using a real FTDI for the photo and then fakes for mass production is also possible... one really shouldn't conclude anything from the product image. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Voigt Nov 25 '18 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BenVoigt Right. But, as I mentioned, I'm not currently aware of any functional counterfeits of the FT2232H. \$\endgroup\$ – duskwuff -inactive- Nov 25 '18 at 19:18
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I would recommend you to buy something else.
FTDI is known for their practices, they're updating their drivers so they brick/damage non-genuine chips. It's not worth to buy FTDI chips from china (sometimes are affected even chips from reputable sources).
I would recommend another chip from another vendor. Like CH340 etc.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Nov 26 '18 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be a useful answer if the question were about the common FT232RL, but it is actually about a very different, more specialized and more obscure product, the FT2232H \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Dec 14 '19 at 19:30
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Disadvantage, if it doesn't work as described in the datasheet, you have no guarantee of support, possibly no refund, and wasted time. Really bad fakes may damage something. That's basically it for a one off project part. The problems really come in at scale, for commercial products or products that can result in safety hazards. Recall costs, litigation, factory rework, bad p.r. etc.

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To the best of my knowledge, there are no fake FT2232 chips. In the wild, only fake of FT232RL and FT232BL have been spotted. I have used the very same purple CJMCU FT2232H board (bought from ebay) for doing JTAG. It worked just fine.

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