Giada debuts ARM-powered desktop PCs

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Giada is well known for manufacturing small-form factor desktop computers. However, up until now Giada's PC desktops have been primarily powered by x86 chips and designed to run Windows or Linux as the default operating system.

Recently, Giada introduced two of ARM-based computers loaded with Google's popular Android OS: the Giada Q10 and Q11. Both are listed as "coming soon" on the company website.

The two ARM-powered PCs are housed in 7.5″ x 5.9″ x 1″ cases and powered by 1 GHz Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processors paired with Mali 400 graphics.

As Liliputing's Brad Linder points out, although the devices ship with Google Android 4.0, it should be relatively easy to install alternative operating systems such as Ubuntu or Bodhi Linux.

Additional base specs? 1GB of RAM, 5 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, VGA, HDMI, and memory card slots. In terms of memory, the Q10 is loaded with 4GB of RAM, while the Q11 boasts 8GB, along with a 1500mAh battery.

As discussed above, Giada has yet to pin down an official launch date, although we suspect the company will be showcasing its ARM-powered PC lineup at CES 2013 in Las Vegas this January.

It should also be noted that Motorola recently rolled out an Android-powered desktop in China - complete with an 18.5-inch LED touchscreen (1366x768 @ 60Hz, 16:9), keyboard and mouse.

The system - officially dubbed the CloudBB - features a Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex A8 1GHz chip, 1 GB DDR RAM and 4 GB NAND flash memory.

Unsurprisingly, Motorola seems to be marketing the system as a media hub of sorts that is capable of streaming TV shows, movies and additional cloud-based content. Of course, the CloudBB can also be used to play games, browse the web, write emails/documents and run a plethora of Android apps.

Personally, I doubt Android-based systems like the CloudBB will be replacing traditional desktop PCs in the immediate future, especially with a Cortex A8/A9 processor. However, chips based on ARM's Cortex-A15, which are 40% faster than the A9 and capable of scaling up to 2.5 GHz will likely help accelerate the adoption of Android-based desktops.