In the last years everybody saw the problematic situation with FTDI chips as well as with Prolific. Both companies faced the situation that there have been clones of their chips been created and sold to millions of devices. The companies started to build in additional detections into their software drivers or even added code to make the clone chips unusable when detected. At the end the end user was suffering from this situation.
So the “Makers” of tiny home-made devices and electronics hobbyists started to look for alternatives and it looks like the CH340 and CH341 chips are exactly what they need. The chips are very cheap, but documenation is only available in chinese. But luckily the people over at Seeedstudio offering a documentation:
For both the CH340 and CH341 I found following drivers for several operating Systems:
Win98 up to Win8.1 (32Bit & 64 bit):
At least for Linux, I can say that there is offical code included in the Kernel ( see https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/drivers/usb/serial/ch341.c ). So in the new future it should be available broadly without any additional downloads.
A good hint by ColorsofJava: When using Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) you need to ensure that unsigned drivers can be loaded by following
After installing the driver open a terminal and write:
sudo nvram boot-args=”kext-dev-mode=1″
Then unsigned “Developer” Drivers can be used in Yosemite.