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Khadas VIM1S Low-Power SBC Gets Processor Refresh

Khadas VIM1S
(Image credit: Khadas)

Khadas is launching an upgraded version of its VIM1 SBC Arm-powered SBC, which launched in 2016. The new VIM1S, as reported by CNX Software (opens in new tab), is a low-powered board that could still give the Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab) a run for its money in the low-power computing sector.

Khadas VIM1S

(Image credit: Khadas)

Compared to other boards announced recently, such as the Radxa CM5 (opens in new tab) or even Khadas' own VIM4 (opens in new tab), the VIM1S looks underpowered, with an Amlogic S905Y4 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 CPU running at up to 2.0 GHz and just 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM. However, a lot will depend on the price at which it becomes available. The onboard GPU is a Mali-G31 MP2 unit that can decode H.265, AV1, VP9 and AVS2 up to 4Kp60, plus H.264 up to 4Kp30. In addition, four simultaneous streams can be decoded at 1080p 60fps.

The full specs of the board haven't been published yet, but we do know it features an Ethernet port (described as 'fast') and a pair of USB 2 ports, but no USB 3 beyond a Type-C port also used for power (there's a separate four-pin power connector if needed) but which cannot output video. There's also a 40-pin GPIO array said to be Raspberry Pi-compatible, and both Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connections, with an external antenna that's a distinctive part of the board. 

There's also a 30-pin FPC connector on the underside of the board, plus both embedded eMMC flash and a Micro-SD card for storage. A full-size HDMI 2.1 port can be seen in the images released. The board measures just 82mm x 58mm (3.2in x 2.2in), making it roughly the same size as a Raspberry Pi 4.

The board is being marketed on its low power requirements. "Our VIM1 single board computer has often been a low-cost and power-efficient solution for many Makers and OEM developers," reads Khadas' blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the board. "The much-loved Amlogic S905X SoC sipped power and in many circumstances didn't even require a heatsink to function normally. The upgraded VIM1S ... integrates a new SoC with similar power requirements, but much improved processing and GPU performance."

More information about the new board will be released soon.

Raspberry Pi 4 vs Khadas VIM1S
VIM1SPi 4
CPUAmlogic S905Y4 quad-core Arm Cortex-A35 @ up to 2.0 GHzBroadcom BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
GPUArm Mali-G31 MP2Broadcom VideoCore VI
RAM2 GB LPDDR4 @ 1176 MHz1GB, 2GB, 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 @ 3200MHz
HDMI1x 2.1 full-size, up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR, CEC, HDCP 2.2/2.32 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
USB2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB type C port for power and USB devices (no video)2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.
WirelessDual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 with IPEX connector and antenna2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
GPIO40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with USB, UART, I2C, ADC, PWM, JTAG, I2S40-pin
Dimensions82mm x 58mm85.6mm x 56.5mm
Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.