• NewAE Technology Team

"Real” Serial Ports with the latest CW software update

Updated: Jun 24

New USB Serial Port

If you’ve updated your ChipWhisperer-Nano, -Lite, or -Pro device firmware, you may have noticed that a serial port is being enumerated on the USB interface. This new feature means that you can now talk to the target device via a “regular” serial port at the same time that you have the ChipWhisperer API connected. This USB update precedes an upcoming transition from LibUSB to WinUSB.


ChipWhisperer software update has real USB serial ports
You should see a USB serial port enumerate on your OS.

Use "Normal" Tools to Talk to a Target

This USB serial port is useful for debugging (am I seeing the device reboot?), but also allows you to interact with firmware via a console.

Look out for future CTF versions of our tutorials that start out with a normal serial port.

This update allows you to use "normal" tools to talk to a target device. This provides a solution to an issue that has come up several times where vendor-provided "firmware update utilities" expect to talk to the device over a serial port. Now that the ChipWhisperer enumerates a USB-CDC serial port, the device appears just like any other system serial port!

Now that the ChipWhisperer enumerates a USB-CDC serial port, the device appears just like any other system serial port.
This new feature means that you can now talk to the target device via a “regular” serial port at the same time that you have the ChipWhisperer API connected.

Under the Hood

Under the hood, this is implemented with a single serial connection to the target.
Under the hood, this is implemented with a single serial connection to the target

Cautions

The only complexity to watch out for with this update is that you can accidentally have two devices controlling the same hardware. To ensure nothing unexpected happens, by default once you connect to the ChipWhisperer from Python you'll no longer be able to change the baud rate via the USB-CDC serial port. You can toggle these on and off using the "scope.io.cdc_settings" setting. See the documentation for more details.

ChipWhisperer Nano
Update your Nano firmware for the USB port.
This USB serial port is useful for debugging (am I seeing the device reboot?), but also allows you to interact with firmware via a console.



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