VID and PID for my custom PCB Board based on Arduino Mega 2560 R3

Hi Guys,

So I have a custom PCB that I will like to sell (over a 1.5yrs of work) - and all I wanted is to include my own set of drivers for windows (plug usb and my products drivers name shows up). I was reading online that I might need an unique VID and PID?

I’m very confused…so I guess I will ask:

  1. If I just sell my pcb board as is with bootloader from arduino (VID and PID from Arduino), can I do that? Can I sell it?

  2. If I get a copy of the source code for the USB firmware, can I just rename it to my company’s name and use Arduinos’s VID and PID? or again, i can not do that?

  3. I guess, i already spend a lot of time programming my sketch - what can I do to sell my pcb without paying expensive VID licenses???

Any help will be appreciated!

Good info here:

Scroll down to "How does the new '8u2 affect Arduino-derivatives"

If you use a device like ATmega16U2 where you need to set a VID/PID in firmware, you may not use another company's VID and you should purchase your own. There is mention in the article you may be able to buy a PID from a company who bought a VID. The good news is you do not need to use an ATmega16U2 to provide an interface for programming an ATmega2560. You can just use an FTDI or CH340G chip instead and then you would not need to buy a VID. That should not involve a major re-design, and will probably simplify and reduce the cost of the board. Have a look at the schematic for the Sparkfun ProtoSnap Pro Mini board for design ideas.

You could also omit the USB interface completely, and instead include an FTDI header like the Pro Mini and the Arduino Pro have. You could sell the board with an FTDI Basic for a slightly higher cost, or if the buyer already has an FTDI Basic they can just plug it in. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9716

dmjlambert:
You could sell the board with an FTDI Basic for a slightly higher cost, or if the buyer already has an FTDI Basic they can just plug it in. https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9716

Mind you, FTDI is somewhat "on the nose" for many people and it is hard to justify paying fifteen times the price of an eBay module using the CH340 which is for the vast majority of purposes, equally functional.

Paul__B:
Mind you, FTDI is somewhat "on the nose" for many people...

+1

There are those such as myself that swear to never purchase a product with an official/clone FTDI after the big meltdown with Windows drivers; IMO FTDI can go to Hades if a flash of blue flame.

It is best to not revive bad memories ... there are too many other options other than FTDI.

Ray

First, thank you for all the replies, it really helps alot!

Ok, so I need to keep the USB interface in my board not just for uploading the firmware for 2560, but also to send the data to my Windows Application.

I like the idea of the FTDI but now I'm getting confused with "mrburnette" comment...what is so bad about using FTDI since you can use their VID and get an unique PID from them? (save $5K minimum).

Thanks for the help!
Jose

I am not bent out of shape because of the FTDI thing. Alternatives are OK, but I do wish some of those Chinese manufacturers/sellers would make an alternative to the FTDI basic with the same pinouts and pin orientation and using a female header that matches the male header typically sold with a Pro Mini, and using mini or micro USB connector for a cable. It seems nobody has caught-on to that idea.

Bottom line, if you use FTDI you just need to take extra care to NOT use adapters with counterfeit chips, and test your product or product you are reselling to make sure it works with Windows.

Hi,

Thank you for your quick reply. What you mean about "adapters with counterfeit chips" - english is not my first language. Does that mean not the original FTDI from manufacturer?

Yes, people who buy the cheapest FTDI Basic adapter on eBay or Aliexpress usually get an adapter with a counterfeit chip in it, and the current Windows drivers by FTDI insert the string "NON-GENUINE" into the serial stream. If you Google "ftdigate" you will see all sorts of discussion about FTDI counterfeiting and the FTDI companies countermeasures caused public outcry. It is a major problem for the FTDI company.

Ok, so to make sure. I can not have an SMD FTID on my own pcb? I dont need to buy an adapter from ebay because the board needs to be powered via USB port.

Yes, you can use an FTDI or Prolific or CH340G chip, use whichever gives you the support your project needs. FTDI and Prolific chips have been counterfeited, so you need to buy from a reputable source so you don't get stuck with counterfeit chips.

Note, you are the one who said you can use FTDI's VID and buy a PID from them, I did not say that, so if you have not already done research about that you will need to research. I don't know which chips have a programmable PID and which ones are hard wired to the manufacturer's VID/PID. I think most people just buy the chip and use it with whatever VID/PID is programmed in it, and use it with standard drivers. If you are determined to use a custom VID or PID you should probably just stick with your initial design and use the ATmega16U2 and buy a VID (for big money) or see if you can find a VID owner who would sell you a PID. If you teamed with and co-branded with a manufacturer such as Sparkfun, Adafruit, or Seeed, perhaps they would let your product use their VID in exchange for them doing the manufacturing.

What mrburnette means by encouraging you to use something other than FTDI is there are a lot of people (including mrburnette) who are very upset about FTDI's changes they made in their Windows drivers to prevent use of FTDI drivers with counterfeit chips. At one point FTDI issued an automatic driver update through Windows that altered the counterfeit chip's VID/PID and permanently (for the average user) ruined the counterfeit chip the end user had. This was viewed as a dastardly deed by many. This is the incident you can read more about by Googling "ftdigate".

thanks for your reply.

What about this?

http://atmel.force.com/support/articles/en_US/FAQ/Using-Atmel-VID-PID

Looks like I can use atmel's VID and PID.

I do not understand most of what they are talking about in that question and answer from that website, and I don't know if that applies to your situation.