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AMD’s collaboration with BlueStacks to enable a virtualized “Android on Windows” solution on OEM platforms optimized for AMD has received a tremendous amount of interest since its announcement at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. OEMs are excited by the benefits of our approach:

 

  • Enables PCs to run both Windows and Android applications at the same time
  • Share files between Windows and Android
  • Eliminates the needs for OEMs to run separate driver test and support processes for the two OS’s


Today at Mobile World Congress (MWC) we announced that the optimized-for-AMD BlueStacks dual-OS experience will soon be available directly to consumers through select retailers. Expected to begin in Q2, end users will be able to transform their supported AMD-based PCs into versatile devices that run Android and Windows applications side by side just by installing this new software solution.


But wait you say…Users can download the award winning free BlueStacks App Player today to get the ability to run both Android and Windows apps on a PC.  So what’s the difference?


BlueStacks actually offers three products: BlueStacks GamePop for TV, BlueStacks App Player for PC, and the new, BlueStacks dual-OS solution for select AMD-based PCs. Let’s take a closer look.


1.  BlueStacks GamePop for TV brings mobile gaming to your TV. This subscription-based product and gaming service includes the GamePop console, a controller, and 500 top games from mobile that are constantly updated and refreshed with new titles.  It essentially brings mobile gaming to your TV. See http://www.gamepop.tv/ for more info. Apu Kumar, SVP and GM for GamePop will also be at MWC for press, channel, and OEM briefings and can be reached at via email (davisapu@bluestacks.com) or twitter (@apu_kumar).


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2.  BlueStacks App Player for PC is a free download from www.bluestacks.com. It has the same user interface as GamePop and allows users to play some Android apps on their PC or Mac.  See http://www.bluestacks.com/app-player.html for more info.

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3.  But it’s the third item--the new, premium Android on Windows dual-OS product—that has everyone at MWC talking. This solution is not just a player; it is a  “dual OS solution” and it is available only for select AMD-based PCs.  It leads the pack when it comes to incorporating performance optimizations and supporting the latest Android releases, versions of Windows, and newest app titles. For example, the new release will be available for Windows 8.1 (the free player mentioned above is Windows 8.0 only); will be based on a newer Android OS release (“Jellybean” versus “Ice Cream Sandwich”); and will include the latest optimizations to leverage AMD compute power .

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The premium product gives the full native Android User Interface experience. Not only can you run the latest apps, but through the familiar Android UI you can customize your settings, background, preferences, and alerts. Virtually everything you do on your Android device can now be done on your PC. You also get full support for the peripherals that are typically leveraged in mobile apps. That means you can take advantage of camera, GPS, accelerometer, and other components in your PC device, just as you would their equivalents in an Android phone or tablet.  Simply stated, this new offering brings the full Android mobile UI and app experience to your PC.

 

With this solution, Android and Windows are running side by side. You can jump between your Word doc and Angry Birds without breaking stride. Best of all, the Android interface can see right into the Windows file system. Peer into your Windows picture folders and add them to Instagram through the Android interface in just one step.

So where does AMD fit into this?


Here are some highlights of AMD-specific optimizations of the new BlueStacks premium dual-OS solution, Optimized for AMD:


  • Many low-level microarchitecture-specific performance optimizations designed to leverage AMD APUs. Included in this are zero-copy optimizations for shared memory, floating point unit code tuning, optimizations for faster context switching, state caching, and more. These optimizations are not only designed to increase performance, but also to save power.


  • AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) technology support. The premium product has a multi-OS runtime at its heart, with innovative BlueStacks virtualization technology that leverages AMD’s specific hardware extensions designed to perform repetitive tasks normally performed by the CPU and therefore improve resource use and virtual machine (VM) performance.  This boils down to enabling minimal overhead for a great user performance experience, even on small, low power APUs.


  • Media playback. The premium product leverages AMD’s Unified Video Decode (UVD) silicon, a fixed-function logic block that again, is designed to improve resource use and improve performance when playing back  videos.


Indeed, all these optimizations are designed to streamline the overall user experience for more responsive operation. There is so much exciting potential in this solution, we will look forward to sharing more as it comes to market!


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Clarice Simmons is a Senior Marketing Manager at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.