VideoStrong VS-M9RD Development Board is a Raspberry Pi Lookalike with Amlogic S905 SoC

VideoStrong is better known for their Android TV boxes with or without digital TV tuners, such as K1 Plus T2/S2 TV box, but the company has also designed several Amlogic based single board computers and development boards, including the latest Raspberry Pi inspired VS-M9RD board powered by Amlogic S905 quad core 64-bit ARM processor.

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VS-M9RD board technical specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core cortex-A53 processor @ 2.0 GHz with penta-core Mali-450 GPU up to 750 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – Optional 4 to 32 GB eMMC flash module, micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K2K
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports + mini USB OTG port
  • Expansion Header
    • 30-pin header
    • 28-pin header
    • 7-pin header with CVBS and JTAG signals
  • Debugging – 4-pin 2.54mm pitch serial console header
  • Misc – IR receiver, power and update buttons.
  • Power Supply – 5V via power jack and (maybe mini USB port)
  • Dimensions – 85 x 55mm

You’ll notice in the pictures above and below that what should be the USB hub chip and micro SD slot are not soldered, but that’s likely because they just rushed to take pictures. The company also elected to use eMMC modules just like on Hardkernel ODROID-C2, an development board based on Amlogic S905. Some of the main differences with ODROID-C2 include less memory (1GB RAM vs 2GB RAM), but more I/Os with 65-pin for expansion against 47-pin.

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Apart from the fact than the board will run Android 5.1.1, there’s also no firmware image, source code, and documentation right now, but this will have to be published once the board becomes available if they plan to target the maker market.

Price has not been disclosed yet. Some more details may eventually surface on VideoStrong S905 development board page.

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13 Replies to “VideoStrong VS-M9RD Development Board is a Raspberry Pi Lookalike with Amlogic S905 SoC”

  1. Looks like a C2 clone with less memory.

    lets hope they make some more afforable eMMC modules then odroid

  2. if GPIO get python and C++ libraries it will be interesting with the right price, otherwise odroid C2 is much better

  3. Cool board !
    I was looking forward to a S905 board .. and with lot more IO pins and a JTAG port too
    I hope they come out at a decent price point ..

  4. Looks more like Mini USB to me and I hope they do not allow the board to be powered through crappy USB cables 🙂

    Regarding Firmware images I would suspect all that’s it needed is to grab the .dtb from a released Android image and replace it in Hardkernel’s own or community OS images and/or Armbian?

  5. When Beelink miniMXIII is being sold for just over $40 with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC, this should not be sold for more than $30 inc. shipping to attract buyers.

  6. yeah as other boards realized it will not be able to compete against raspberry pi, the real contender is odroid-c2 and some h3 boards.

    i believe going for 1GB of ram is a good choice to cut down prices, the vast majority of applications will not require more that 1G of ram including 4k media projects, as i could test with my android tv boxes (h3 & s905) running armbian or ubuntu.

    So i can only post the same comment as others, the only added value of that board will be determined by its (low) price.

    did you get a chance to take a closer look at that gigabit chip ? looks like a realtek logo, i can’t remember the s905 specs, i don’t believe it has GB PHY so is it a PHY device or an usb ethernet adapter ?
    (meaning you’ll never get Gigabit out of it).

    Also taking a look at videostrong website (for the first time), i was quite surprised to see that they list (and sell?) their K1 (with dvb tuners) boards as bare dev boards ??

    Finally what do you make of that line in their specs ?
    “DRM:Microsoft Playready/Verimatrix/Google Widevine(Optional)”

    Looks like they put it on almost all their products specs so i guess it’s just meaningless copy/paste BS or is there more to it ?

  7. @mdel
    It must be Realtek RTL8211E (I could not see clearly so I did not mention it). Amlogic S905 supports Gigabit Ethernet (built-in PHY). In MINIX NEO U1, I got 453 Mbits/sec / 798 Mbits/sec using iperf full duplex (worse case scenario), and not a bad results at all.

    DRM is probably a copy/paste, and you’d likely have to pay extra, so I think it’s reserved to companies that would buy the board in quantities, and put their own software on it.

  8. @cnxsoft
    Might be an RTL8211F also (this is the one Hardkernel uses — and it’s a built in GbE MAC not PHY). If they’re smart they stay as compatible as possible to ODROID-C2 since then everything that has to be adjusted at the software side is device tree stuff and might be DRAM initialisation.

  9. thx for your answers
    ok so it’s a GBE PHY interface required by the S905 (without GBE PHY), as i see that chip missing from my current s905 100Mbps devices.

    am i right to assume that those PHY interfaces do not require additional drivers (RGMII interface) to works on a recent linux kernel ?
    I’m wondering if my current s905 ubuntu image will require some modifications, besides updating dtb tree, if i move it from a basic s905 100Mbps device to a GBE s905 one ?

    do you take a look at the cpu load when performing your iperf tests ?
    I’m a bit worried about that because my tests on s905 100Mbps show that even at that low speed, the cpu load (all cores, or one core switching ?) gets pretty high (20-30%). So i’m still wondering if those arm chips have a real hard time coping with high I/O, i can see the same kind of cpu load when producing I/O from USB (to /dev/null).

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