Future Technology Devices International Ltd. provides a driver for their USB-to-Serial chips specific for MacOS 10.9 and above.

When I first connect a device with such a chip, I can see the additional devices in /dev, for example tty.usbserial-A92XHN3R and cu.usbserial-A92XHN3R. Apparently, MacOS (10.12.6 in my case) provides a driver out of the box.

After installing the vendor provided driver (and rebooting), nothing changes on first sight. I still see the two additional devices when I connect an FTDI adapter to a USB port.

But there is at least one change: libusb works with a PN532 breakout board connected to the Mac via an FTDI adapter. Before installing the driver, I got an error, even though the adapter seemed to work fine.

After this long preamble comes the question: What exactly are the benefits of the vendor provided driver? Does it have additional functionality over the Apple provided driver? Less bugs?

  • Are there release notes or a link on what the “vendor provided driver” is specifically? I have no idea what you are using and what version of that other driver you wish to compare and contrast. You’ll likely get no answer or less good answer without nailing down what you are using.
    – bmike
    Jul 24, 2017 at 11:14
  • My apologies, I found an installation guide ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/…. It claims in chapter 3.2 that "Starting with 10.11 (El Capitan), Apple’s own driver seems to be sufficiently comprehensive that many customers will not need to install FTDI’s own VCP unless they wish to use its advanced features such as baud-rate aliasing and configurable latency times."
    – user89124
    Jul 25, 2017 at 7:48
  • Why libusb works with the driver installed (but not active, as I did not disable the apple driver first) is an entirely different question. This question would be even more "opinion-based" or speculative, so I am not going to ask it.
    – user89124
    Jul 25, 2017 at 7:50
  • Perfect. I’ve reopened this for an answer to be added.
    – bmike
    Jul 25, 2017 at 11:06
  • would you like me to answer with the baud rate information from your comment?
    – bmike
    Jul 30, 2017 at 19:50


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