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...

  • \$\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

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

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.

  • \$\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

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.


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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