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Khadas VIM3: The Beginner’s Ultimate Guide

Are you an engineer or designer looking for the perfect SBC for your mini-computer applications? Then, the Khadas VIM3 is the ideal option you need.

The VIM 3 SBC is a small-sized SBC with powerful hardware that ensures maximum performance and thermal efficiency.

Also, it features one of the best SBCs available. However, you might be skeptical about choosing this SBC for your circuit. Luckily, we’re here to help you.

This article will tell you everything about the Khadas VIM3, its specifications, and its features. We’ll also compare it to other popular boards like Raspberry Pi.

What is the Khadas VIM3?

The VIM3 is a recent addition to the famous list of Khaadas’s VIM series. Interestingly, the VIM3 surpasses everything about its predecessors, offering top-notch and advanced features for various applications.

However, it does adopt one thing from the original VIM models, which is the form factor. In truth, the VIM3 is the size of a credit card and is a perfect fit for Khadas DIY cases. Although it’s small, the VIM3 has a competitive price and comes already loaded with various powerful features.

Khadas VIM3 Specifications

You can find up to 5 TOPs performance NPU on the VIM3 with up to 1536  MAC INT8 inference. Also, you can discover support for mainstream deep learning frameworks like Caffe, Darknet, and TensorFlow. VIM3 uses 2/4GB LPDDR4/4X (RAM) and supports STM8S003 and Programmable EEPROM MCU.

The VIM3 also has Bluetooth (5,0) and Wake on LAN (WOL). In addition, it has a 10/100/1000M LAN and 5-20V power supply. You can get two USB hosts (900mA and 500mA load) and a USB Type-C port with USB PD and USB 2.0 OTG support.

Its MIPI-DSI has a four-lane interface with a 30-pin 0.5mm pitch FPC connector. This MIPI-DSI also has a1920*1080 max resolution. Also, the TF card on the VIM3 is a Molex slot with Spec version 2.x/3.x/4.x (SDSC/SDHC/SDXC).

The VIM3 offers a 16GB EMMC 5.1 and a 16MB SPI flash. Also, the VIM3 uses a VIN connector as its system power input. 

The VIM3  supports HDMI 2.2 and a Type-A female HDMI 2.1 transmitter with 3D. But that’s not all. The VIM3 also supports dynamic HDR and CEC.

With the Khadas, you can get three different headers, including an RTC and battery header, a cooling fan header, and a 40-pin header (2.54mm). The RTC and battery header is a 0.8mm pitch header, while the cooling fan header is a 4-pin 0.8mm pitch header with PWM speed control support. 

The 40-pin header, on the other hand, supports the connection of the following CPU pins: CPU: SPDIF, 12C, UART, USB, I2S, ADC, PWM. It also supports the connection of the following MCU pins: NRST, SWIM, and PA1.

Check the images below for other VIM3 Specifications:

Key Features

Here are the key features of the Khadas VIM3:

High Performance

The VIM3’S Amlogic A311D (X4) 2.2GHz and Cortex A73 (x2) 1.8GHz Cortex A53 SoC helps deliver a faster CPU performance. In addition, its 12nm SoC fabrication process also generates low heat during operation. 

Other high-performance features include USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 5.0 support, Gigabit Ethernet with support for WOL, LPDDR4/X ram, and a USB-C PD perfect for heavy applications.

Friendly Design

The Khadas VIM3 has a stackable design that makes it easy to use. So, you can easily program its MCU and three LEDs on the SBC. 

The VIM3 also features an onboard SPI flash and an XPWR for building external power switches. Lastly, you can use 3D CAD files, Khadas KBI, and Khadas TST.

Features an Excellent IO

This SBC features a 40-pin GPIO header and an 8-ch I2S with microphone array support, but only over an M.2 connector. Also, it features MIPI-CSI and MIPI-DSI, and its design comes with a GPIO Extender Chip.

Supports Various Accessories

You can use different compatible resources with your VIM3 for various applications. However, keep in mind that you’d have to buy these accessories separately. 

Here are the available accessories compatible with the VIM3:

  • USB-C Cable (White, Male to male)
  • M2X Extension Board
  • USB-C Cable (Grey 2.0 to Type-C)
  • DIY Case
  • HDMI Cable (19-Pin )
  • IR Remote
  • TS050 Touchscreen
  • USB 10W Adapter (Black, light workloads only)
  • New VIM Heatsink
  • Khadas Tone Board
  • 3705 Cooling Fan
  • USB-C 24W Adapter (White)

VIM Series

The SBCs in Khadas’s popular VIM series include:

  • VIM1
  • VIM2
  • VIM3
  • VIM3L

VIM3 Development Board

In truth, Khada’s VIM3 can work as a development board for programming and building mini-computers at the home, office, and even in a car. Also, you can program a server OS on your VIM3 to run web services, file servers, and other applications.

Applications

You can use the VIM3 for both heavy and low-power applications. These applications include: 

  • Minicomputer
  • Digital signage
Digital signage
  • AI and Robotics
  • Nano server
  • Crypto mining cluster

Khadas VIM3 vs Raspberry Pi 4

While the Khadas is a worthy competitor of the Raspberry Pi 4, it’s a more expensive alternative. Although the Khadas VIM3 offers many advanced features, you can get most of them with a Raspberry Pi 4 for a lower price.

But if you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks, the Khadas VIM3 wins.

Khadas VIM3 vs Jetson Nano

The Jetson Nano is roughly the same price level as the Khadas VIM3 and offers similar primary features. But, the Khadas VIM3 beats the Jetson in CPU power for deep learning and AI applications. However, the Jetson Nano is still a solid alternative for the Khadas VIM3.

Rounding Up

Khadas VIM3 is one of the best SBCs money can buy and is the best VIM board in the VIM series. Hence, it boasts a faster CPU performance than most SBCs and supports a neural processing unit for AI applications.

Furthermore, the VIM3’s wide range of power input (5 to 20volts) makes it capable of handling power-demanding applications like speakers and microphone arrays.

So, what do you think about the Khadas VIM3? Do you have any questions? Let us know by contacting us, and we’ll be happy to help.

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Hommer Zhao
Hi, I am Hommer, the founder of WellPCB. So far, we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me. I really appreciate any help you can provide.

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