Khadas VIM3 Amlogic S922X Board to Support M.2 NVMe SSD, WiFi 5, and Bluetooth 5 Connectivity

Ever since the Amlogic S922X powered ODROID-N2 SBC launched last March, I keep reading praise for the processor and board which both deliver great performance at a relatively low price. Hardkernel was the only company that sold such a board so far, but this is about to change with some competition coming from Shenzhen Wesion with their upcoming Khadas VIM3 board that includes 2 to 4GB RAM, 16 to 32GB eMMC flash storage, a wireless module, support for M.2 NVMe SSD, and more.

Khadas VIM3
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Even though more are planned in the future, two Khadas VIM3 models have been announced so far – Basic and Pro – with the following preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Amlogic S922X hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex-A73 and 2x Cortex A53 cores, Arm Mali-G52 MP4 GPU, built-in Cortex-M4 core for “always-on” processing
  • MCU – STMicro STM8S003 with Programmable EEPROM for power management, customizations, and boot media configuration
  • System Memory & Storage
    • VIM3 Basic – 2GB LPDDR4/4X RAM, 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash
    • VIM3 Pro – 4GB LPDDR4/4X RAM, 32GB eMMC 5.1 flash
    • Common – 16MB SPI flash, microSD card slot supporting up to UHS-I SDR104, support for M.2 2280 NVMe SSD (see Expansion section)
  • Video Output & Display Interface
    • HDMI2.1 transmitter with 3D, Dynamic HDR, CEC, and HDCP 2.2 support
    • 4-lane MIPI-DSI interface up to 1920 x 1080
    • 10-pin 0.5mm Pitch FPC Connector for touch panel
  • Video
    • 4K UHD H.265 75fps 10-bit video decoder & low latency 1080p H.265 / H.264 60fps decoder
    • Supports multi-video decoding up to 4Kx2K@60fps + 1x1080P@60fps
    • Dolby Vision and HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and PRIME HDR video processing
  • Connectivity
    • Gigabit Ethernet with WoL support
    • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFI 5, 2X2 MIMO with RSDB and Bluetooth 5.0 via Ampak AP6398S module
  • USB – 1x USB  3.0/2.0 type A port, 1x USB 2.0 type A port, 1x USB 2.0 OTG type-C port with USB PD support
  • Sensor – KXTJ3-1057 3-axis digital accelerometer
  • Expansion
    • M.2 Socket with single lane PCIe 2.0, USB 2.0, I2S, I2C, ADC, 100M Ethernet PHY interface, GPIO, MCU_PA2
    • 40-pins 2.54mm pitch header exposing:
      • CPU signals – USB, I2C, I2S, SPDIF, UART, PWM, ADC
      • MCU signals – SWIM, NRST, PA1
  • Misc – 2x IR receivers, RTC & battery header, 4-pin cooling fan header with PWM speed control, 3x LED’s, power, Func and reset buttons, XPWR pads for an external power button
  • Power Supply – 5V to 20V via USB-C port or pogo pads
  • Dimensions – 82.0 x 58.0 x 11.5 mm (4x M2 mounting holes)
  • Weight – Around 30 grams
  • Certifications – CE, RoHS
Amlogic S922X Development Board
Click to Enlarge

Khadas VIM3 comes with some extra features compared to ODROID-N2 including built-in eMMC storage (instead of external flash), an M.2 socket supporting NVMe SSD, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, a MIPI-DSI connector, and a few other features like an accelerometer and larger SPI flash. VIM3 is also quite smaller compared to ODROID-N2.

The company did not expand on software support at this stage, except they will provide Fenix Script, a “one-click” script for building Linux distributions.

Khadas VIM3 is coming soon, but pricing has not been announced yet. One thing for sure is that it will be more expensive than the $63/$79 ODROID-N2 simply because of the extra features such as built-in storage which you need to purchase separately for the Hardkernel board. More details may be found in the “launch page“. It’s very likely an Amlogic S922D version will be launched as well, since the company mentions “next generation, deep-neural-network applications, at 2.5 TOPS“.

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29 Replies to “Khadas VIM3 Amlogic S922X Board to Support M.2 NVMe SSD, WiFi 5, and Bluetooth 5 Connectivity”

  1. Are you sure about “2 x USB 3.0” (which would result in an internal USB3 hub being used as on the N2)?

    Fenix Script is a build system able to generate Debian/Ubuntu based OS images from scratch similar to Armbian (even using some code from Armbian). Wrt PCIe vs. USB3 it’s at least explained that it’s either/or: ‘Khadas KBI: Switch the “combo interface” between PCIe and USB 3.0’.

    1. I’m not sure. I’ve changed it. I can see S922X only has 2 USB interfaces:
      1. One USB XHCI OTG 2.0 port
      2. One USB SS and PCIe2.0 combo interface up to 5Gbps, supporting 2 configurations: 1x USB 2.0 Host + 1x PCIe, or 1x USB3.0 (No PCIe)

      So there must be a USB 3.0 hub since the board comes with three USB ports, at the very least one of the port supports USB 3.0. For this reason, I’m assuming the two type A USB ports are behind a USB 3.0 port hub, as I don’t see which other configuration they may have gone with. I’ve asked the company I’ll see if they answer.

      1. Answer:

        It’s one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 as described on VIM3 Specs; the reason why you use two USB3.0 physical connectors is for better outlooking & quality(Foxconn).

        1. I still don’t get it 🙂

          Ok, ‘OTG 2.0’ is available via USB-C. And then either the USB3 port or the USB2 port function based on ‘Khadas KBI switch’ enabling USB3 or PCIe (only then USB2 should be available? But they mention ‘USB 2.0’ also being available on the M.2 connector). And they talk about support for M.2 2280 SSDs on a board 82×58 mm in size.

          1. VIM3 can work in two modes:

            PCIE Mode:
            1) PCIE 2.0
            2) 4x USB2.0(x2 USB Host, x1 GPIO, 1x M.2 Connector)
            3) 1x USB 2.0 OTG

            USB 3.0 Mode:
            1) 1x USB3.0
            2) 3x USB 2.0(x1 USB Host, x1 GPIO, 1x M.2 Connector)
            3) 1x USB 2.0 OTG

            Good day!

          2. Thanks Gouwa! I guess it’s (way) too early to ask for lspci -vv, dmesg output and performance numbers of a connected NVMe SSD to get an idea about PCIe situation with S922X?

          3. The testing results based on EVO 970:

          4. > The testing results based on EVO 970

            Thanks for this! While the performance isn’t that exciting (but to be expected with a single lane) at least it’s a proof that PCIe with Gen2 speeds is working!

          5. > Maybe they placed it in diagonal

            Doesn’t work either without the SSD edges protruding over the PCB. Most probably then similar to RockPi 4 with a cable extender.

          6. Or you know, they could support M.2 2242 and 2260 only… That’s still within spec, it’ll just be much harder to get a suitable SSD.

          7. Yep, we will design an extender(M.2 extender module) for both the Edge-V and VIM3, but not with a cable, we use new process instead(FPC & PCB combine process used on Khadas Edge-IO and Juice).

  2. On the face of it, this board has lots of potential but having no heat sink may prove to be problematic.

    1. > having no heat sink may prove to be problematic

      Same form factor as the newer VIM variants ensures that you can spend a whopping 25 bucks for their fansink combo as well! Check KAHS-V-005 and 3705 Cooling Fan (I bet without the active fan the tiny heatsink will perform pretty poorly).

    2. Well, at 12nm, this should still run fairly cool, even compared to other Cortex-A53 only parts that are often 28nm in this space. As such, hopefully a small adhesive thermal pad with a heatsink on top should do the trick.

  3. Hopefully, the mounting holes are on the same spot as the VIM1, so I could re-use my selfmade enclosure.

    1. Just curious: what is your use case for the VIM3 (especially taken the price into consideration that will be significantly higher than the other S922X SBC)?

    1. As for S922X: We support this SoC and it is feature complete for Kodi mediacenter, but we only support Odroid N2 because Hardkernel was so kind to provide samples for the whole Team before the starting selling it.

      In fact we had to pull Khadas VIM1 and VIM2 support a few months ago because it was impossible to do important changes to uboot because no one on the Team has those and no one in the community stepped up to do testing for us.

      Also community is currently crying for a cheaper solution and I read that the VIM3 is gonna be more expensive than the N2.

      1. I find it a lot of fun to see the CoreELEC team making calls for a vim3 khadas throughout the party.
        Now it’s our turn to make jokes.

    2. i like the khadas for onboard wifi+nand, i will wait for correlec support before buying. thanks

  4. I had some messages this morning from khadas, it won’t only be for the S922X, it will have other chipsets too that aren’t out yet. I think that’s why there is a waiting time frame for a release.

    1. Hardkernel walks the long strides forward of khadas, when the subject is price and quality.

      Khadas has a VTV card that is almost the price of the Odroid N2.
      In another comparative the VTV card and the price of a KI Pro. Using the same tuner

      I do not think it’s time to trade the right for the dubious.
      Odroid N2 does not heat up and does not need a cooler, everything works as promised.
      Khadas will not give me a chance because we know very well about the high temperatures of VIM 2.

      I hope khadas does not try to do the same wetek.
      For the future we already know well.
      The end is always the same!

      1. I hope khadas does not try to do the same wetek
        For the future we already know well.
        The end is always the same!
        See what mecool did with wetek.
        Same models different values.
        Always manufacturing late and wanting to sell with the higher price.
        Good luck.

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