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I'm building a PCB with an ATMega chip.

In the past, I've used Sparkfun's FTDI breakout board to program the ATMega.

However, I'd like to implement the FTDI chip and USB port on my own PCB, thereby bypassing the need for the breakout board.

Can I simply copy the schematic from Sparkfun's model, plop the chip down on my board, and expect it to work? Or is there some firmware I need to load onto the chip before it is able to translate USB to serial?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd read the data sheet for the IC. \$\endgroup\$ – RedGrittyBrick Feb 6 '14 at 9:16
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No firmware is needed. Copying the schematic will work.

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You may need to program FTDI chip only in case you need some advanced functionality like flashing your Company Vendor ID and Device ID to make your particular custom device to respond only to your custom modified version of drivers and to stand out as your custom device in system. Also you may output clock signal from FTDI chip, modify logic for TX/RX leds and make some other interesting things which you can see in details in the datasheet.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what said; these additional features are stored in the EEPROM of the FTDI chips. The FT232RL being discussed here has internal EEPROM, but not all FTDI chips. The 2 or 4 serial port editions, for example, require an external microwire EEPROM. \$\endgroup\$ – Hans Feb 6 '14 at 21:58
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As said above, no firmware needed, will work out of box. PC will just install ftdi driver if you connect it to PC.

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