May 6th, 2014, 21:38 PM
AMD finally embraces Android as it looks beyond Windows
After flirting with the idea for more than a year, Advanced Micro Devices has finally provided concrete details for bringing Android to its chips as the company looks to support more operating systems beyond Windows.
AMD will support Android on its 64-bit ARM-based chips starting next year, the company said in a press conference this week where it announced Project SkyBridge, a series of products that will provide the plumbing for its ARM and x86 cores to be interchanged or combined on a single motherboard.
AMD is bringing Android only to ARM architecture, not x86, which is used in Windows and Linux PCs. AMD in the past has maintained that Android would work best with ARM processors, which are used in most tablets and smartphones. Intel has already built a flavor of Android for its x86 chips.
The new ARM and x86 chips made as part of Project SkyBridge could appear in ultra-thin client devices—which may include tablets—and also embedded devices, said Lisa Su, general manager of AMD’s global business units, during the media event.
AMD is not targeting smartphones, because it wants to focus on products that can deliver a strong computing and graphics experience, Su said.
With Project SkyBridge, device makers will be able to design Android products that will harness the joint computing power of ARM Cortex-A57 64-bit chips and AMD’s Graphics Core Next (GCN) GPUs. The AMD-led HSA (Heterogeneous System Architecture) Foundation is developing programming tools and standards so all the processing units can operate in tandem to speed up a system, but AMD’s ARM processors are not yet compliant with HSA’s standards.
“This will also be the first Android platform that we have at AMD with our heterogeneous systems architecture,” Su said.