Google has finally addressed developer complaints about the poor emulator performance in the platform’s SDK.
According to the official Android Developer Blog, the new system image bundled with the emulator is able to utilize the workstation’s GPU to perform hardware accelerated rendering.
There is also optional support for running x86 images to natively access the workstation CPU which will likely improve the performance of CPU intensive applications. According to Ars Technica, many developers have already been using this trick with third party system builds. For more information, check out the Android Developers Blog.