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USB to Serial Chips

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joe G \(Home\), Mar 4, 2006.

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  1. Hi All,

    For the USB to Serial IC's - eg from FTDI and Silicon Labs.

    Do the Silicon Labs and FTDI chips auto enumerate with Windows XP as a HID
    Serial device.

    IE - The driver is already in XP and no extra driver software required?

    How about other USB to serial IC's.

    Thanks in Advance?

  2. Guest

    I believe the driver is available for download on ftdi's site. One of
    the things that got me interested in them was the fact that they also
    have drivers for linux and mac os.

    I just got some maxim usb interface chips (MAX3420). I think they have
    driver source code included. I haven't tried them out yet though.
  3. Hi JG,

    The development kit from Silicon Labs comes with the Windows drivers. I
    think the newer ones come with Linux and Mac. I had to have them email
    mine. These show up as another serial port on your 2K or XP system. The
    sources and driver configuration utilities and information are on the CD as
    well. We use them on some of our products here and they work very well.


  4. Genome

    Genome Guest


    As someone who has no association with the companies you have mentioned I
    can gaurantee that you can plop these IC's on a thing and have them
    recognised by Windows as C:

    Thank you for thanking me in advance. I feel all gooey now.

  5. Donald

    Donald Guest

    Does this mean it replaces your boot drive ???
  6. Leef_me

    Leef_me Guest

    The FTDI parts need drivers downloaded from their website. I evaluated the
    chip by buying a
    USB<--> RS-232 cable made by DLP DESIGN, The installation was
    straight-forward and I was
    running in less than 10 minutes.

    Your email address says Australia, from the FTDI website, below would be a
    local sales contact.


    Dontronics Australia & New Zealand
    P.O. Box 595
    Tullamarine 3043
    Australia Contact: Don McKenzie
  7. Guest

    I think they all require you to install a driver, at least in the
    current version of XP. Techincally I only have experience with the
    Silicon Labs (bare chip in a project) and whatever's inside the Belkin
    adapter, but people seem to be saying the FTDI needs an install too?

  8. You need their drivers You don't really want Windows to recognise it as this could make it harder
    for your application to figure out whether your device (as opposed to someone else's) is plugged in.
    With the FTDI ones, you can program a unique Vendor/Product ID into the eeprom, and tweak the text
    config files in their device driver package so that it appears like a dedicated driver for your
    product, avoiding clashes with other devices using the same chip. FTDI will give you a small block
    of product IDs to use if you ask them so you don't have to buy them from

    I don't know if it's possible to make the FTDI look like a standard HID device- mouse, keyboard etc.
    - I've not seen any mention of this anywhere, but they are usually very helpful if you email them so
    it's worth asking if this is what you want to do.
  9. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    No, he's running a two-floppy system; all he has is A: and B:. ;-)

  10. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    I've found FTDI's e-mail support responsive but also quite terse... if you ask
    them a couple of questions, they're quite likely to only answer the first one,
    and not in very much detail at that. Still -- given the responsiveness -- if
    you keep on them sooner or later you'll get the information you need.

    The other thing I'd note about FTDI is that -- like many companies -- they try
    very hard not to directly mention any bugs in their software or hardware.
    Instead, their documentation will say things like, "This bit in this register
    should be set to 1" -- after just giving a long explanation of what the bit
    does when it's 0 as well as 1. What they really mean is, "This bit should be
    set to 1, because setting it to 0 doesn't actually work the way it was
    intended to. Sorry."

    You won't get any of the standard FTDI chips to appear as HID devices. The
    flexibility of the parts is nowhere near wide enough to make that happen. As
    for drivers, I don't believe drivers for any FTDI chips come on any Windows
    installation CDs, although (and this is documented on FTDI's web site) one OEM
    started making USB<-->serial converter cables with FTDI's ICs (and default VID
    and PID) and went through the whole driver certification process with
    Microsoft, so a particular version of the FTDI serial "emulation" driver is
    now available on Windows Update. This can cause a problem, however, in that
    it's a somewhat old version, so you jump through a few hoops to force Windows
    to "do the right thing" if you want to install the latest version of their

    To the OP: Is there any particular reason you'd like the devices to show up as

    ---Joel Kolstad
  11. Genome

    Genome Guest

    Yeah, but they are 8 inch ones.....

  12. Dunno about the FTDI and Silicon Labs devices. I guess that it depends
    how long they've been around.

    For example, I've got a USB serial cable containing a Prolific PL2303
    and that's recognized right off by Win2000/XP and Linux releases of
    (say) the past two years. It was supplied with a disk containing
    drivers for early versions of Mac OSs and Windows.
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