Khadas VIM3L Amlogic S905D3 SBC Targets HTPC Enthusiasts

Amlogic S905D3 SBC

Khadas recently launched VIM3 single board computer powered by Amlogic A311D that delivers the best performance among Arm-based SBC’s I have tested myself, and for instance, Amlogic A311D is significantly faster than Rockchip RK3399, and the platform is quite suitable for Android gaming. All that power comes at a price however, as Khadas VIM3 starts at $99.99 with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. That’s fine if you’re going to leverage the features and power of the board, but for some applications, it’s quite expensive. One of those applications is HTPC, as in a world of sub-$50 TV boxes, $100 is a bit too much for watching video content. So the Khadas team is currently developing Khadas VIM3L based on Amlogic S905D3 processor that should provide an excellent platform for HTPC. Khadas VIM3L specifications known so far: SoC – Amlogic S905D3-N0N quad-core Cortex-A55 processor @ 1.9GHz with Arm Mali-G31MP2 GPU up to 800MHz supporting OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.0 and OpenCL …

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4K Video Playback on Raspberry Pi 4 with LibreELEC (Alpha)

LibreELEC Raspberry Pi 4K

In my short Raspberry Pi 4 review, I tested 4K video output and playback in Raspbian, and sadly neither are working properly, with video output stuck to 1080p60 even after selecting 4K HDMI in the settings and yes, I double checked for “hdmi_enable_4k=1” in config.txt, while H.265 video playback is still clearly using software decode in both VLC and omxplayer. However, LibreELEC team announced support for Raspberry Pi 4 in LibreELEC 9.2 Alpha1 release based on Kodi 18.3 and Linux 4.19.x. So I downloaded LibreELEC-RPi4.arm-9.1.001.img.gz and flash it to a microSD card with balenaEtcher. The good news is that I could manually set the resolution to 3840×2160 and confirm it works with my TV, but the refresh is limited to 30 Hz maximum. Other refresh rates currently available include 23.98 Hz, 24 Hz, 25 Hz, and 29.97 Hz. The hardware is capable if 4K 60Hz, so it’s just a question of time before this is fixed. Note LibreELEC for RPi4 …

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Khadas VIM3 SBC Launched with Amlogic A311D Processor, 5 TOPS NPU

Khadas VIM3 Amlogic-A311D SBC

We’ve previously written about Khadas VIM3 Amlogic S922X development board and revealed the price tag for VIM3 Basic ($69.99) and VIM3 Pro ($99.99) with a launch date announced for June 24. As time has passed, this has become “fake news” except for the launch date, as Khadas VIM3 SBC has indeed launched but for $99.99 (Basic) and $139.99 (Pro). What’s going on? Why the large price increase? That’s because Khadas team has decided to provide a more powerful platform to the community, and replace Amlogic S922X processor with Amlogic A311D processor boasting higher clock speeds and a 5.0 TOPS NPU. Another version may also become available later on with the soon-to-be-released Amlogic S922X-B processor whose Cortex-A73 cores are clocked at up to 2.2 GHz, instead of 1.7 GHz for the original Amlogic S922X processor that will be referred to Amlogic S922X-A in the future. New Khadas VIM3 SBC specifications: SoC – Amlogic A311D hexa-core processor with 4x Arm Cortex-A73 cores …

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Phicomm N1 Android 7.1 TV Box Supports Multiple Linux Distributions

Phicomm N1

I like to look at new hardware platforms supported by Linux mainline, and recently covered MapleBoard MP130 SBC which I found in Linux 5.0 changelog.  Today, I had a look at another device. Phicomm N1 is an Amlogic S905D powered TV box running Android 7.1 with a user interface geared towards to the Chinese market. Nothing that interesting so far, but a topic on Armbian forums made it more interesting as the box comes with a larger heatsink than most other cheap TV boxes, a 12V/2A power supply which should allow you to connect several USB hard drives, and potentially more importantly, it became popular among Chinese users, with the community releasing several Linux based distributions for the device including  CoreELEC, LibreELEC, Alpine Linux, CentOS, Debian, Deepin, ArchLinux Arm, and more. Phicomm N1 hardware specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905D quad core Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450 GPU System Memory – 2GB DDR3-1866MHz Storage – 8GB eMMC …

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Cost-Optimized Rock960 Model C Board Sells for $69 and Up

Rock960 Model C

96Boards compliant Rock960 board launched last year for $99 with Rockchip RK3399 processor, 2 to 4GB RAM, 16 to 32GB eMMC flash for $99 and up. However, now you can buy a Rockchip RK3399 SBC for as low as $45 plus shipping thanks to FriendlyElec NanoPi NEO4 board that comes with 1GB RAM and no built-in storage, relying instead on a micro SD card slot or eMMC socket. So VAMRS decided to design a cheaper version of their board with Rock960 model C that still benefits from being part of the 96boards ecosystem, is equipped with 1, 2 or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM, and the OS can boot from a micro SD card or an optional eMMC flash module. The 1GB version of the board is now sold for $69 on Seeed Studio with shipping scheduled for the 1st of February 2019. Rock960 model C preliminary specifications: SoC – Rochchip RK3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores up to …

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Khadas Edge RK3399/RK3399Pro Board Crowdfunding Campaign Launched

Khadas Edge is another upcoming Rockchip RK3399 board that we initially covered this summer, and comes with a particular design in the sense it is both a single board computer with USB and Ethernet port, and a system-on-module through its edge connector. Later on we found out, the company was working on a variant called Khadas Edge-V with the edge connector being replaced by a more standard 40-pin header, as well as Khadas Edge1S powered by Rockchip RK3399Pro for AI applications. The company has now launched the three boards and accessories through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. I’ve already covered the two RK3399 boards in previous post, and  the RK3399Pro based Khadas Edge-1S (2GB RAM, 2x MIPI-CSI, …) will be similar to Edge board but with , so instead I’ll have a closer look at the specifications for Khadas Captain carrier board for Khadas Edge / Edge-1S: Edge connector – 314-pin MXM3 connector for Khadas Edge / Edge-1S Storage – M.2 …

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Khadas Tone High Resolution Audio Board is Designed for Khadas VIM/VIM2, PCs, and Other SBCs

Khadas VIM and Khadas VIM2 are development boards powered respectively by Amlogic S905x and S912 processors that come with decent software support. The company also provides application specific add-on boards for their SBCs, and a while ago, I reviewed VIM2 with their dual tuner board and showed how to stream videos from my satellite dish or terrestrial antenna to the local network. Their latest solution is Khadas Tone board for high-quality audio applications. Khadas Tone “VIMs Edition” specifications: Multicore MCU – XMOS XU208-128-QF48 with 8x xCORE-200 cores up to 500 MIPS DAC – ES9038Q2M 32-Bit Stereo Mobile Audio DAC THD+N – ≤ 0.000337% @1KHz SNR – ≥ 120dB @ 10Hz~20KHz DNR – ≥ 120dB @ 10Hz~20KHz Crosstalk – ≥ 127dB @ 10Hz~20KHz Frequency Response – ±0.08 dB @ 10Hz~20KHz Sampling Frequency PCM: Up to 768KHz @ 32bit DSD: Up to DSD256 @ 1bit Clock Jitter Reference Clock Jitter < 3ps Data Clock Jitter < 30 ps Audio Formats – APE2, …

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Popcorn Hour Transformer Media Computer / NAS Launched for $95.90 and Up

Last month, we wrote about Cloud Media’s Popcorn Hour Transformer, a platform based on Rockchip RK3328 processor that could be used a 2.5″ drive NAS, and/or a 4K HDR TV box, and looked like an interested alternative  to ODROID HC1 NAS system. The company has now officially launch the device, and is taking orders for $95.90 or $115.90 for respectively the 2GB RAM/16GB flash, or 4GB/32GB versions. Popcorn Hour Transformer specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP GPU System Memory – 2GB or 4GB LPDDR3 Storage micro SD slot 16 or 32GB eMMC flash (removable and upgradeable) 128 Mbit SPI NOR flash SATA interface via USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset for 2.5″ HDD/SSD Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K 60Hz with HDR (HDR10/HLG) support Audio Output – Via HDMI, and 3.5mm audio jack (analog stereo or optical S/PDIF) USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A ports including …

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