USB to UART Bridge - FT232RL

The ever-popular FTDI USB to UART IC now comes with built-in EEPROM and built-in oscillator! This IC comes in a 28-pin SSOP package and can be soldered by hand. The FT232RL is the latest IC from FTDI requiring very few external components for operation!


While we are no longer selling the FT232RL IC alone, we recommend any of these breakout boards as an alternative for your needs:

  • Implements full v2.0 USB protocol
  • Needs no external crystal
  • Requires only decoupling caps
  • Internal EEPROM for device ID and Product Description strings
  • Royalty-Free Driver support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX

USB to UART Bridge - FT232RL Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

3 Soldering

Skill Level: Competent - You will encounter surface mount components and basic SMD soldering techniques are required.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • EliTheIceMan / about 14 years ago / 2

    These are $4.50 on Mouser>> Mad props to Sparkfun!
    The drivers are for your computer, so when you hook the chip up to your usb the computer recognizes it and converts it to a COM.

  • Member #365997 / about 10 years ago / 1

    Has anyone used these effectively? I am currently using the FT311 Android Host chip and am experiencing some strange problems with the UART to USB transfer. I have found very little documentation on what exactly makes it through the uart to usb conversion. I have reached out to FTDI but no response yet. When sending a character from PIC32 to Android a byte makes it through every once in awhile and when it does it is usually surrounded by alot of null characters. On the other side, I have a PIC sending the data RX by the PIC to another TX to a computer terminal to view the data. On this end I get streaming amounts of characters that make no sense. Anybody else experienced this?

    • Member #365997 / about 10 years ago / 1

      Also, on the ft232 and the like, you are able to configure certain settings with the D2XX drivers and windows. How does this work with a usb host chip such as the FT311H and FT312D? \

  • Member #466599 / about 10 years ago / 1

    can i run this chip off 3.3v

  • whitnasty / about 11 years ago / 1

    good price sparkfun!!! Cheaper than they are on Newark!

    Do you know what date code you guys are currently shipping?

  • SparkedFun / about 12 years ago / 1

    Is it possible to use this as a USB host for mass storage devices?

    • ginbot86 / about 12 years ago / 1

      As far as I know, no. This can only work as a USB device and not as a host.

  • MK1888 / about 12 years ago / 1

    It should be pointed out that this device is for SERIAL (RX/TX) transfers. The 245 chip does parallel transfers.

  • WizenedEE / about 13 years ago / 1

    What steps would I need to take to replace this chip on an arduino? Would I have to update the EEPROM or just solder it in and go?

  • davervw / about 13 years ago / 1

    Note this board also works with BOB-00500 if you wish to incorporate into your project and populate your own capacitors, USB socket, etc by other means.

  • ThinkerT / about 13 years ago / 1

    Any one have some code for this? is it needed?

  • ThinkerT / about 13 years ago / 1

    silly question. same thing, just an s

  • ThinkerT / about 13 years ago / 1

    could you hook this up to an atmega even though that's usart and this is uart?

  • constructor / about 13 years ago / 1

    I'd like to ask if this chip is recognized from the PC side as a Human Interface Device. I use mikroC PRO for programming uC and i've seen that it includes an HID terminal.
    Could I use this terminal to send bytes through this bridge via USB to a uC that only supports UART, without installing those drivers in Windows?
    Please, if anybody knows, answer as quick as possible because I might need a few of these for my next project.
    Thank you!

  • YellowFlower / about 14 years ago / 1

    could someone elaborate on how you use the drivers in a microcontroller, do you add it as a header file? or do you have to load them into the chip?
    how do the drivers actually work as an interface?
    and once working will it just show up like a normal serial com port where i can hook it into hyperterminal and recieve/transmit my UART transmissions as normal?

    • ThinkerT / about 13 years ago / 1

      The drivers are installed on your computer. No special code needed on the uC end. It should show up as a com port.

  • Whosawhatsis / about 15 years ago / 1

    The feature list says that a pull-up resistor is required, but your breakout boards don't include one. What gives?

    • RevAaron / about 14 years ago / 2

      I could be mistaken, but it looks to me that they just haven't updated the feature list. Per the datasheet:
      "Integrated USB Resistors - Previous generations of FTDI?s USB UART devices required two external series resistors on the USBDP and USBDM lines, and a 1.5 k? pull up resistor on USBDP. These three resistors have now been integrated onto the device."

    • Good catch. Description updated.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

Based on 2 ratings:

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Best non-counterfeit chip ever

Before you buy this, have a read through SparkFun's FTDI Drivers and Counterfeit Chips blog post, and take comfort in the fact that SparkFun buys their chips from reputable sources.

Great, that's out of the way.


  • Lots of options for powering your device: 3.3V, 5V and self-powered devices are supported
  • Works out-of-the-box without reconfiguring the EEPROM
  • Only needs a few external components


  • FTDI's EEPROM utility only runs under Windows

loved the first two i bought i had to buy 3 more.

Very small, reliable and can switch from 3.3 to 5 vdc, powers my devices like a champ, highly recommended