Google Titan M, security chip that powers Pixel 3 phones, to go open source: Report | HT Tech

Google Titan M, security chip that powers Pixel 3 phones, to go open source: Report

Google’s Pixel 3 phones come with Titan M chip that provides security against the most sophisticated cyber attacks.

By: KUL BHUSHAN
| Updated on: Oct 22 2018, 14:07 IST
Google claims Titan M makes Pixel 3 its most secure phone yet
Google claims Titan M makes Pixel 3 its most secure phone yet (Google)
Google claims Titan M makes Pixel 3 its most secure phone yet
Google claims Titan M makes Pixel 3 its most secure phone yet (Google)

Google snuck an important security element in its new Pixel 3 smartphones - Titan M. A dedicated chip that houses its own RAM and storage, Titan M is aimed at securing the phones from the most sophisticated cyber attacks. The company is now looking to make the Titan M more secure by making the firmware open source.

"The firmware for this will be fully open source in the coming months, which I think is very unique in the industry," says Google security project manager Xiaowen Xin told TheWired.

Google's bet on a dedicated security chip comes amid increasing incidents of attacks on the main processors running the devices including mobile phones. Earlier this year, chipset giant Intel was hit by two high-profile security vulnerabilities in its processors that affected millions of devices worldwide. ARM and other chipset giants have also been affected by security vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown.

Titan M, however, brings a newer concept of having a dedicated hardware element to do the job of securing devices. According to The Wired report, the chip is capable of blocking fake log-ins and even barring hackers from creating fake button presses.

Google isn't alone in endevours to fix the glaring security loophole in mobile devices at the chipset levels. ARM chips that power flagship phones come with a TrustZone that is separate from the operating system. The security vault is located within the mobile chipset, though. Apple also includes a Secure Enclave within its A series of chipsets to store private information like keys and biometric data. 

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First Published Date: 22 Oct, 14:03 IST
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