FT232RL Failure

I have quite a number of FTDI's FT232RL chips on boards that are failing. When directly looped back Tx to Rx, all I get is $00 no matter what is sent. I have tried this with the latest version of the driver 2.08.30, with 2.08.28 and with 2.08.14. Most of these have the date code of 1213c. I know there were problems in the past and using the older driver (.14) solved them. My latest batch of boards has a 95% failure rate.

I have been in contact with ftdi (limited helpfulness) and with my supplier. I have had great luck with FTDI products in the past (with the driver rollback) but now that isn't even working.

I'd send back the 95% of the boards that don't work in a heartbeat, but I still need something to replace them with. I liked the FTDI chip because it WAS more robust that the competition. The competition doesn't sink or source enough and I'd like not to have to re-design my circuits.

Any thoughts on solving this one?

Perhaps get a product that has/uses the FTDI chip and test it to see if it also fails. Assuming the chips are not defective, If the product chip does not fail, then perhaps your assembly process/circuit may be damaging your chips. If the product also fails, then your test setup may be the cause of the failure.

Where did you get your FTDI chips supply from? I guess FTDI only interested to support you if you are buying from them or through one of their official distributor.

FTDI manufactured the chip. Counterfeiting the FT232RL chip would be like someone counterfeiting quarters.