Khadas Tone 2 Pro mini desktop Hi-Fi system supports MQA decoding, balanced RCA outputs

Khadas Tone high-resolution audio board was introduced in 2018 for audiophiles wanting to design their own DIY HiFi system using Khadas VIM/VIM2 SBC, or connect it the USB version of the board to other single board computers. The company is now about to launch Khadas Tone 2 Pro mini desktop Hi-Fi system based on the same ESS ES9038Q2M DAC, but a faster XMOS XU216 capable of handling MQA decoding, and equipped with balanced RCA outputs, as well as an I2S USB-C port. Khadas Tone 2 Pro key features and specifications: Multicore MCU – XMOS XU216 with 16 real-time logical cores on 2x xCORE tiles; up to 1000 MIPS DAC – ES9038Q2M 32-bit stereo mobile audio DAC Amplifiers – 4x OPA1612 operational amplifiers, 3x buffer amplifiers Seamless hardware MQA decoding Native DSD512 decoding, PCM decoding up to 32Bit/384kHz. Left and right balanced RCA jacks for transmitting a balanced analog signal via Line-out. 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced headphone jacks Rotate-push encoder […]

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Khadas VIM3 & VIM3L SBC’s become Android reference boards

If you need to work on the very latest development version of Android or AOSP, you can either get one of the supported phones such as Google Pixel 5,  one of the reference boards for Android which should be better for development and also fairly cheaper. We previously reported about Hikey, Hikey960, and DragonBoard 845c single board computers being part of the short list of reference boards for the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP), but Amlogic powered Khadas VIM3 and VIM3L have recently been added to the official devices page which makes them the first AOSP reference boards with a dedicated NPU / AI accelerator. As a quick reminder, Khadas VIM3 is the most powerful board with an Amlogic A311D hexa-core Cortex-A73/A53 processor with up to 4GB RAM and 32GB flash, and Khadas VIM3L is the light version with an Amlogic S905D3 quad-core Cortex-A55 processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB flash. Since both are now Android reference board, developers can get […]

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Coronavirus Update: Many Chinese Companies to Stay Closed at Least until February 17

About 10 days ago, I wrote a post about the impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing and shipping from China. At the time, we knew the Chinese New Year “holiday” was extended until February 10 in order for the authorities to contain the outbreak. That meant manufacturing would be impacted, and not much will ship from China during that time period. At the time, we were also told packages shipped from China were safe as it took several days and the virus would just die off on the way. But there have been some updates since then. First, a new study shows the coronavirus may stay alive on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days at room temperature. So I’m not sure what that means for packages sent via courier services like FedEx or DHL. The previous link offers some solutions: … but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen […]

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Krescue for Khadas VIM Boards Enables Backup/Restore of eMMC flash, Access to the Terminal, and More

Sometimes things go wrong, and you need a way to recover your system, either by restoring a backup or accessing your system to check it out and hopefully fix the issue. Krescue is a minimal firmware image (21MB compressed) for Khadas VIM boards designed to do just that, and more. Some of the highlights of Krescue firmware image include: Full eMMC flash dump/backup to Micro SD card, USB, or LAN host. Restore the compressed dump (.img.gz) into an eMMC on the same device or another device Rescue shell for expert users. Shell access via UART, USB network, and Web browser You’ll find Krescue for Khadas VIM1, VIM2, VIM3 and VIM3L on Khadas website which can be flashed to a MicroSD card using balenaEtcher. You can then insert the card into your board, and boot into maskROM mode to access the menu above, and control it with the IR remote control or USB keyboard. You can see the minimal OS in […]

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Getting Started with Amlogic NPU on Khadas VIM3/VIM3L

Shenzhen Wesion released the NPU toolkit for Khadas VIM3/VIM3L last November, so I decided to try the latest Ubuntu 18.04 image and the NPU toolkit on Khadas VIM3L, before switching to VIM3 for reasons I’ll explain below. I’ve followed two tutorials from the forum and wiki to run pre-built samples and then building a firmware image and samples from source. Khadas VIM3L and VIM3 Have Different & Optional NPUs This will be obvious to anyone who read the specs for Khadas VIM3 and VIM3L that the former comes with a 5 TOPS NPU, while the one in the latter only delivers up to 1.2 TOPS. But somehow, I forgot about this, and assume both had the same NPU making VIM3L more attractive but this type of task, Obviously I was wrong. But the real reason I stopped using Khadas VIM3L can be seen in the photo below. My board is an early sample that comes with Amlogic S905D3 processor, but […]

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Khadas VIM3 NPU ToolKit Release & Video Demo

Khadas VIM3 NPU Toolkit

Khadas VIM3 board based on Amlogic A311D processor with a 5TOPS Neural-network Processing Unit (NPU) launched last June. We’ve reviewed VIM3 with Android 9 shortly after launch, but until recently it was not possible to leverage the NPU since the software was not quite ready yet. The goods news is that Khadas has now released the NPU toolkit for both VIM3, and the cheaper VIM3L boards. The NPU toolkit contains the following directory: docs – Model conversion documentation acuity-toolkit – Model conversion tools linux_sdk – Linux SDK android_sdk – Android SDK The toolkit works in host PCs running Ubuntu 16.04 or 18.04 with Tensorflow framework, and inference can run on both Linux and Android OS in Khadas VIM3/3L board. It includes an Inception v3 sample with 299×299 sample photos, among other demos. You’ll find documentation to get started with model conversion and inference in Linux on Khadas Wiki. You can also watch the video demo below running Yolo v3 object […]

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Khadas VIM3L SBC Review with Android 9 Firmware

Khadas VIM3L Android Review

Khadas VIM3L is the first and so far only Amlogic S905D3 SBC on the market, so I first ran some benchmarks and checked system info. But it is also designed to be an HTPC, I’ll continue the review with some 4K video and audio playback testing, some gaming, and I/O benchmarks. Khadas VIM3L Unboxing As you may remember (or not), VIM3L ships either as a bare board pre-loaded with Android 9 or as an HTPC kit with the board running CoreELEC. I’ve received the bare board which also comes with two WiFi antennas. It can do much more than a simple TV box however, since it also comes with an M.2 NVMe socket (extra adapter board required), and sockets with MIPI DSI + touchscreen, and MIPI CSI camera. It’s one of the few boards with a low profile Ethernet connector, so if you ever wanted to build a farm of the board it could lead to a more compact solution. […]

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Khadas VIM3L (Amlogic S905D3) Benchmarks, Settings & System Info

Khadas VIM3L Heatsink

Khadas VIM3L is the first Amlogic S905D3 SBC on the market and is sold as a lower-cost alternative to the company’s VIM3 board with a focus on the HTPC / media player market. Shenzhen Wesion was kind enough to send me a sample for review, and I’ll start by checking out benchmarks and system information in Android 9.0 Pie operating system. I also plan to perform a more detailed review with Android 9.0 and CoreELEC with a focus on media playback. I received the bare board only, and the first thing I did was to install it the heatsink I received for VIM3 and in turn, install it in the acrylic case. The company told me the heatsink is not really necessary “for normal purpose using like watch TV”, but it should be installed for performance tests and heavy workloads. I’d still recommend purchasing the heatsink to make sure it works well during the summer months as well. Upgrading Android […]

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