VIM1 Amlogic S905X Open Source TV Box

By Khadas 113

VIM1 Amlogic S905X Open Source TV Box

The VIM1 is the original Amlogic S905X Arm development board designed by Khadas for hobbyists, makers, and electronic fans; many refer to it as an "Open Source TV Box." It is slightly smaller than a Raspberry Pi with dimensions similar to that of a credit card. The VIM1 is only available in two versions: VIM1 Basic with 8 GB EMMC storage and AP6212 (b/g/n) Wi-Fi, and VIM1 Pro with 16 GB EMMC storage and AP6255 (b/g/n/ac) Wi-Fi. Both versions have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM and Bluetooth® 4.2.

Just like a familiar desktop computer, the VIM1 single board computer supports the booting of multiple operating systems. Users can choose from a variety of OS images (ROMs) from their documentation or community forum. Popular OSes include Android 7.1/8.0, Ubuntu 18.04, LibreELEC, Armbian, and Buildroot. There are even dual-boot images for developers to boot both Android and Ubuntu from the same EMMC.

Developers will also find a built-in 40-pin GPIO, real-time-clock (RTC), and VIN port for an extra power supply. In addition, the three user-buttons on the side provide easy access to power, reset, and function keys. Full open source code is available on GitHub, and hardware schematics can be found in their documentation. There is also a built-in power control unit for supporting power-cycling via remote control.

In comparison with the Octa-Core Amlogic S912 SoC in the VIM2, the S905X SoC in the VIM1 generates significantly less heat output. This makes the VIM1 especially useful in environments that only support passive air convection for heat dissipation rather than forced airflow. In many instances, a single heatsink is sufficient and some people may even find a heatsink unnecessary for their application.

Features
  • Amlogic S905X SoC
    • 1.5 GHz 64-bit Quad-Core Arm Cortex®-A53 SoC
  • Mali-450 GPU
    • HDMI 2.0a with 4K H.265/VP9 10-bit and HDR10 video processing
  • Flexible connectivity
    • USB Type-C™ for power and USB 2.0 OTG support
  • Maker friendly
    • Built-in RTC, VIN port, 40-pin GPIO, x3 user buttons, and hardware encryption
  • Available software
    • Operating system images (ROMs)
      • Android 7
      • Android 8
      • Ubuntu 16.04
      • LibreELEC
      • Dual-Boot
      • U-Boot
      • Third Party Images (ROMs)
        • Android TV
        • Armbian
        • LibreELEC
        • Lakka
        • Volumio
        • Arch Linux
  • Multi-OS
    • Android 7 pre-installed, Android 8, LibreELEC, Ubuntu 16.04, and Buildroot
  • Built-in memory
    • 2 GB DDR3 RAM and up to 16 GB EMMC-V5.0 storage
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • AP6212 b/g/n or AP6255 802.11b/n/g/ac with Bluetooth 4.2
  • Tiny form factor
    • Thin and light with the dimensions of a credit card
  • Developer software
    • Toolchains
    • U-Boot
    • Android Source Code
    • Fenix Script
    • Tensorflow
    • Docker
    • Golang
  • Hardware documentation
    • Schematics, drawings, and specifications
  • Beginner's Guide
    • Getting Started
Applications
  • Mini-computers
    • Install a desktop OS like Ubuntu 16.04 and run Open Office and more
  • Nano servers
    • Install a server OS and run web services, a file server, and more
  • Computing clusters
    • Network VIM1 SBCs to make a computing or server cluster
  • TV box/media centers
    • Install a media OS, like LibreELEC, for watching TV shows and movies
  • Development platforms
    • Android 7/8, Docker, Buildroot, Fenix

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