The tiny, open-spec, Kodi-oriented “Khadas Vim” SBC has a quad-core, Cortex-A53 Amlogic S905X, plus WiFi, BT, 2GB RAM, and 8GB ($50) or 16GB ($65) eMMC.
A Chinese startup called Khadas has launched an open source Khadas Vim single board computer that runs on the Amlogic S905X, a lower-cost upgrade to the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Amlogic S905 found on Hardkernel’s Odroid-C2 hacker SBC. Primarily aimed at media player applications, the Khadas VIM supports Android 6.0 Marshmallow with built-in Kodi-17 media software, as well as Ubuntu 16.04, Buildroot, and 7.0 versions of the Kodi-supporting OpenELEC and forked LibreELEC.
Khadas Vim, front and back
(click image to enlarge)
The Amlogic S905X is slightly slower than the S905, according to CNXSoft benchmrks taken in July. Nevertheless, it is billed by Khadas and others as providing up to 2GHz clock rate. The X version is said to offer VP9 hardware decoding and HDR processing support, and it integrates an Ethernet PHY and audio codec to lower the cost. Like the S905, it is joined with a Mali-450 GPU.
According to a more recent CNXSoft post, the board was originally sold as a Shezhen Tomato TVI development board, and was built by Shenzhen Wesion Tech. The company also makes the open spec GeekBox hybrid SBC/mini-PC.
The 82 x 57.5mm board is slightly smaller than the $40 Odroid-C2 and similarly quad-core, 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3. Like the Odroid-C2, the Khadas Vim offers 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB for the $35 RPi 3.
Khadas Vim detail view
(click image to enlarge)
Unlike either board, the Khadas Vim offers onboard flash. The standard version gives you 8GB eMMC ($50), and the Pro version, which also bumps WiFi from 802.11n to 802.11ac, provides 16GB ($65). Both versions also offer Bluetooth 4.2. Similar wireless capabilities are found on the Pi 3, but not the C2.
Khadas Vim (left) and rear detail view
(click images to enlarge)
Like the Pi 3, the Khadas Vim has 10/100 instead of Gigabit Ethernet, and it has fewer USB ports than either board, furnishing three USB 2.0 host ports. One of these is an OTG port delivered in the Type C form factor, which supports 5V power in. A second power input is located directly behind the Type C port.
Khadas Vim coastline ports
An HDMI 2.0a port with 4K HDR decoding is provided along with dual-channel IR. The Khadas Vim is further equipped with 3x user buttons, an RTC, and a 40-pin GPIO expansion connector with additional USB and other interfaces. (We saw no claims for RPi expansion compatibility.) The board is backed up by a community website with forums and downloads, and is available with schematics, PCB drawings, and PCB 2D files.
Specifications listed for the Khadas Vim include:
- Processor — Amlogic S905X (4x 64-bit Cortex-A53 cores @ up to 2GHz) with penta-core Mali-450 MP2 GPU (3x fragment/pixel cores plus 2x vertex shader cores) @ 750MHz
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 8GB or 16GB eMMC 5.0
- MicroSD (TF) slot for up to 64GB
- Wireless — Broadcom (AP6212/802.11n or AP6255/802.11ac on Pro) WiFi with Bluetooth 4.2
- Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port
- Other I/O:
- 2x USB 2.0 host ports (1x 500mA, 1x 900Ma)
- USB 2.0 OTG Type-C with 5V power input
- HDMI 2.0a with 4K decoding (H.265/VP9 @60fps, 10-bit) and HDR (10 and HLG)
- 40-pin GPIO expansion (2x USB, 2x UART, 2x I2C, ADC, SPDIF, PWM, GPIOs)
- Other features — RTC with battery support; LEDs; IR receiver; 3x user buttons; transparent case
- Power — 5V input and USB 2.0 Type C port with 5V input
- Dimensions — 82 x 57.5mm
- Operating systems — Android 6.0, Ubuntu 16.04; Buildroot; OpenELEC/LibreELEC 7.0+
The Khadas Vim is available at GearBest with free shipping to the U.S. for $50 with 8GB flash and WiFi-n, or $65 for the Pro version with 16GB flash and WiFi-ac. Boards ship within a week of order. More information may be found at the Khadas website and the GearBest shopping page.