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Scaled-back version of Khadas Vim3 starts at $50

Sep 4, 2019 — by Eric Brown 2,146 views

Shenzhen Wesion has launched a “Khadas Vim3L” spin of the Vim3 starting at $50 with half the max RAM and eMMC that swaps out the hexa-core A311D for a quad -A55 Amlogic S905D3 with a scaled-back Mali-G31 and 1.2-TOPS NPU. Prices have also dropped on the Vim1 and Vim2.

Shenzhen Wesion’s Khadas project has released a version of its open-spec, community-backed Khadas Vim3 SBC that sells for half the price. The Khadas Vim3L specs are identical except that the maximum RAM and eMMC have been halved to 2GB LPDDR4 and 16GB eMMC 5.1. The Vim3L replaces the powerful Amlogic A311D (4x Cortex -A73 @ 2.2GHz, 2x -A53 @ 1.8GHz) with a 1.9GHz, quad-core Cortex-A55 based Amlogic S905D3. The SoC is similarly fabricated with a 12nm process.

Khadas Vim3L Bare Board (left) and HTPC Kit

Cortex-A55 cores can be used as a Big.Little companion chip to the Cortex-A75, as on MediaTek’s upcoming, octa-core AI IoT platform i700. The Cortex-A55 architecture provides up to 2.5x the performance-per-milliwatt efficiency of the Cortex-A53, claims Arm.

Amlogic’s S905D3 also ships with a lower-end Mali-G31, the “first ultra-efficient GPU based on the Bifrost architecture,” according to Arm. Yet, the high-end video support is the same as found on the Vim3, including 4K@75fps video with HDR10+ and more.


Instead of the 5-TOPS NPU (neural processing unit) on the Vim3, the S905D3 supplies a 1.2-TOPS NPU, which similarly supports deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow and Caffe. The NPU has an INT8 inference interface for up to 1536 MAC.

Khadas Vim3L and Amlogic S905D3 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

At $50, the Khadas Vim3L starts with an early bird price that is half that of the Khadas Vim3 in the same 2GB/16GB configuration, including free shipping. On Sep. 17, the price bumps up $5 until Oct. 8 when it increases another $5 to the final $60 price. Products begin shipping to backers on Oct. 30.

In addition to thus “Bare Board” model, which ships with dual WiFi antennas and Android 9.0 pre-installed, there’s an HTPC Kit model in the same 2GB/16GB configuration that starts at $70 and moves to $75 and $80 on the same schedule. The kit adds a new heatsink, transparent case, metal plate, and a Khadas IR Remote.

Instead of Android, the HTPC Kit pre-installs CoreELEC, the Amlogic-optimized fork of the Kodi-centric LibreELEC media center distro. We recently saw CoreELEC on Hardkernel’s Odroid-N2 CoreELEC Edition.

Khadas Vim2

Finally, as noted in the CNXSoft post that alerted us to the Vim3L, prices have also been reduced on the Vim1 and Vim2 boards. The quad -A53 Amlogic S905X based Khadas Vim1 Basic (1GB/8GB) has dropped about $10 to $45 and the price of the Vim1 Pro (2GB/15GB) has been trimmed by about $15 to $55. The
Khadas Vim2, which advances to an octa-core, -A53 Amlogic S912, has dropped in price about $20 to $100 for the Vim2 Pro (3GB/32GB) and $120 for the Vim2 Max (3GB/64GB).

The new Khadas Vim3L has all the features of the Vim3 including GbE, 802.11ac, HDMI 2.1, and MIPI DSI/CSI interfaces. You also get 2x USB 3.0 host ports and a Type-C port for power. The roughly Raspberry Pi form-factor SBC also has an RPi style 40-pin header plus an M.2 2280 socket for NVMe storage, and more.

The Khadas Vim3L supports all the accessories of the Vim3, including a $25 M2X extension board that adds a 10/100Gbps PoE port, a GPIO header, and M.2 slots for 4G and NVMe. In addition to supporting Android 9.0, which was the latest Android build until Android 10 splashed down yesterday, images are available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (XFCE) with mainline Linux Kernel 5.0, as well as Armbian and LibreELEC.

Khadas Vim3L, front and back

Back in May, the Khadas Vim3 was originally announced with an Amlogic S922X. The S922X specs are similar to those of the Amlogic A311D that was revealed as the Vim3’s SoC in late June when the SBC went on pre-order with promises of Aug. 10 shipments. The main difference is that the A311D has higher clock rates for its -A73 and A-53 cores and adds the 5-TOPS NPU. In June, the Khadas project hinted that it might return with another model based on the S922X, but it appears it has instead opted for the much more scaled back S905D3 found on the VIM3L.

Specifications listed for the Khadas Vim3L include:

  • Processor — Amlogic S905D3-N0N (4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.9GHz); 12nm fab; Mali-G31 GPU @ up to 800MHz with OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0m OpenCL 2.0; 1.2-TOPS NPU at up to 800MHz with INT8 inference at up to 1536 MAC; Cortex-M4 and STM8S003 (programmable EEPROM) MCUs
  • Memory/storage:
    • 2GB LPDDR4 RAM
    • 16GB eMMC
    • 16MB SPI flash
    • MicroSD slot
    • NVMe via M.2 (see expansion below)
  • Networking:
    • Gigabit Ethernet port with WoL
    • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2X2 MIMO with RSDB (AP6398S)
    • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Media I/O:
    • HDMI 2.1 port for up to 4K@60Hz with 3D audio, HDR, CEC, HDCP 2.2
    • MIPI-DSI (4-lane) at up to 1920 x 1080
    • MIPI-CSI (4-lane) for dual up to 8MP cameras
    • Dual independent displays
    • Touch-panel support
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 host ports
    • USB 2.0 OTG Type-C port (with power)
    • Fan connector
  • Expansion:
    • M.2 2280 socket with NVMe, PCIe 2.0, USB 2.0, etc.
    • 40-pin GPIO header: CPU) USB, I2C, I2S, SPDIF, UART, PWM, ADC; MCU) SWIM, NRST, PA1
  • Other standard features — RTC with battery header; IR receiver; tri-axis digital accelerometer; 3x LEDs; 4x mounting holes
  • Optional features (some are standard on HTPC Kit) — heat sink ($10), cooling fan ($15); DIY case ($15); 5-inch cap touchscreen ($50); Khadas Tone Board ($100); M2X Extension Board ($25); and more (metal plate, Type-C adapter, IR remote, cables, etc.)
  • Power — 5-20V DC VIN input or USB Type-C; XPWR pads for ext. power button; function, reset, power buttons
  • Dimensions — 82 x 58 x 11.5mm
  • Weight — 28.5 g
  • Operating system — Android 9 Pie, CoreELEC (Linux 4.9), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (XFCE) with mainline Linux Kernel 5.0 and U-boot, Armbian, LibreELEC (Linux 5.0)

Further information

The Khadas Vim3L is available for pre-order starting at a $50 early bird price with free shipping through Sep.16 with shipments beginning Oct. 30. More pricing details are above. More information may be found on Shenzhen Wesion’s Khadas Vim3L product page and shopping pages for the Bare Board and HTPC Kit.

Reduced pricing on the Khadas Vim1 and Vim2 boards may be found on the Vim1 and Vim2 shopping pages.

(advertise here)

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