• NewAE Technology Team

ChipWhisperer: LibUSB Changes Coming Soon!

Updated: Jul 14

Over the past year, we have been making a number of changes to the USB interface under the hood as we adapt the ChipWhisperer to a "plug and play" model for Windows. ChipWhisperer devices with firmware newer than 0.23/1.23 (released November 2020) will automatically configure themselves as a WinUSB device, instead of using the old and unmaintained libusb0 driver.

ChipWhisperer-Lite
ChipWhisperer revamps to be more "plug and play".
If your ChipWhisperer is already using the WinUSB driver, you won't see any issues with the new release.



Upgrading to WinUSB for "Plug and Play"

This driver update makes ChipWhisperer "plug and play" on all Windows, Linux, and Mac – if you have the ChipWhisperer software, you can use your device!


New Python USB Library for more USB features

Since releasing this firmware update, we have continued to support both USB drivers; however, as of the next major ChipWhisperer release (5.6), we will no longer support libusb0. We are switching to a new Python USB library to take advantage of additional USB features, and this new library does not support libusb0.


If you are not running ChipWhisperer natively in Windows (i.e. you're on Mac/Linux, or are using a virtual machine with a non-Windows guest), there are no issues with compatibility. If your ChipWhisperer is already using the WinUSB driver, you also won't see any issues with the new release.

Am I using WinUSB or libusb0?

To check if you're using WinUSB or libusb0:

  1. Open Device Manager

  2. Find the "libusb-win32" or "Universal Serial Bus devices" drop-down.

  3. If your ChipWhisperer appears under "libusb-win32", you are using libusb0 and you will need to run an update.

  4. If your ChipWhisperer appears under "Universal Serial Bus devices", then you have the WinUSB driver and you do not have to do anything.

Identify WinUSB or libusb0 under Device Manager menu.
Use Device Manager to identify WinUSB or libusb0.
As of the next major ChipWhisperer release (5.6), we will no longer support libusb0.

Coming in the ChipWhisperer 5.6 Release!

We will be providing a new driver with the 5.6 release that you can use to switch to WinUSB.

We are always busy behind the scenes developing target and capture hardware, working on ChipWhisperer updates, and creating new educational material.


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