CH330N is a New USB to Serial Chip in an SOP8 Package

Earlier this month we covered Air602 low cost Arm WiFi module, and while it’s not clear whether it will ever compete with ESP8266 due to software support, some readers noticed an interesting new chip on the corresponding development board: WCH CH330N USB to serial chip with features similar to CH340, but less pins (e.g. DTS, and  CTS are missing), and available in a tiny SOP8 package.

CH330N

CH330N comes with built-in crystal oscillator, and supports baud rate from 50 bps to 2 Mbps. You’ll find more hardware technical details in the datasheet in Chinese.

CH330(N) works with CH340/CH341 driver as pointed out by Icenowy Zheng who made a small USB to TTL debug board based on the chip to practice PCB drawing with KiCAD. She also mentioned the USB ID and behavior of CH330 is the same with CH340.

CH330 SchematicsCH330 / CH330N chip is still nowhere to be found on Aliexpress, but you can purchase it for around 30 cents in LSCS, as well as in a few shops on Taobao and 1688.com for 1.75 CNY ($0.25) and up.

Thanks to Zoobab for the tip

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walkaboutArachinvoreDavid Willmoreiridiumsatwilly Recent comment authors
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Diego
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Diego

How is the driver situation under Windows? Recently my hamradio neighbour mentioned how hard it is with new pcs without rs232, so i was about to hand him a converter but then hesitated when i saw it was a ch340. I decided giving a different one instead…

halherta
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halherta

I’ll take a well documented USB to serial I.C any day over this piece of junk

TLS
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TLS

Care to provide a bit more details as to why it’s junk?

halherta
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halherta

Does it have a legible datasheet? Does that datasheet list absolute maximum ratings and other tolerances?
Does it have drivers available for Windows, Mac & Linux?
Are these drivers half decent? Is hardware flow control supported? how well is this support?

And many other questions. Sure its cheap but documentation is lacking and even when a datasheet is available it is usually incomplete. Oh can I discuss this part with a Field application engineer from the company that makes this component. Speaking of which do we even know who manufactures this IC.? What process was the IC made with. What is the expected lifetime of the IC and operating temperatures?

I could go on and on and on.

willy
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willy

If you had taken the time to read the post and the links before complaining, you’d have responses to some of your questions :
– yes there is an available datasheet. A very small one but there is, see the LCSC site
– it’s probably legible only by Chinese people, though for most parts (pin names, example
schematic, maximum ratings) it’s OK even for me who do not read Chinese
– yes it lists abs max ratings (section 6.1)
– yes it lists tolerances/recommended operating conditions (6.2)
– from what I’ve read the driver is supposed to be the same as for CH340
– can’t speak for windows drivers but the Linux one for CH340 works fine on my devices using this chip
– HW flow control cannot be supported since these are the pins which were removed to adopt the more convenient SOP8 package
-the manufacturer is WCH (wch.cn). There’s a contact page with an e-mail address and phone numbers if you want to contact them.

From there it’s your turn to contact them and retrieve the info you’re missing. I personally prefer to see small companies do the minimum acceptable to make it possible to design low-cost devices with open drivers than see big ones having huge bogus docs provided only under NDA to customers willing to order 10K+ devices.

iridiumsat
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iridiumsat

Totally agree,
Today everything has changed, a changes that open up a new opportunities for electronics design industry.

halherta
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halherta

Change that will cheapen the electronics industry & basically turn it into a big joke

Arachinvore
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Arachinvore

There have been (mostly) bad and (more recently) good, cheep Chinese products on the market for half a century. It’s never “cheapened the electronics industry” or “turned it into a big joke”.

Your comments are the real comedy here. Stick with FTDI if that’s your preference, but whatever you do; get your freaking diaper changed!

halherta
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halherta

That datasheet is a joke. 2 page wow….so detailed. Oh it is also in Chinese which means I can’t read it. I have no interest in contacting a company that makes shoddy ICs with shoddy datasheets.

Diego
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Diego

Then whats the big issue staying with ftdi? For many uses this IC has it’s niche but certainly not for you it seems.

TLS
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TLS

Sorry, but I don’t care if you can’t read it. I think there might be a billion or so other people that don’t care as well…
Your comments aren’t helpful, you just seem to want to trash this product because.

David Willmore
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David Willmore

I’m starting to think you must work for FTDI or something. How are their Windows drivers? Last I heard, they had a bit of a bug when dealing with some compatable chips.

Arachinvore
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Arachinvore

So… this chip is a “piece of junk” because you can’t read Chinese?

walkabout
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walkabout

I’ve taken a look at the IC and it’s actually quite nifty. A small package that does conversion between USB and serial, and with only two caps as external components. I know of no western ICs that can do the same job with so few components.

walkabout
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walkabout

I would find it inappropriate if a Chinese were to call an American IC junk just because he can’t read English.