Friday, January 11, 2013


Everyone's favorite USB-serial adapter. First chip decapped on my new sulfuric-acid process.

The goal of this analysis was to determine for sure whether the FT232R uses a USB microcontroller, perhaps a core from FTDI's Vinculum line. Many competing units such as the MCP2200 do this, but it adds extra complexity and possibly more failure modes.

Chip before decapping

Top metal
The lack of any obvious ROM areas suggest that the FT232R is indeed an ASIC. Major functional blocks: EEPROM (upper left, smaller memory bank), SRAM buffer (upper left, larger memory bank), oscillator and PLL (analog circuitry at upper right), standard logic cell array (at center, most of the chip).

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