Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google reveals details on Titan M chipset, present on Pixel 3 series

Google reveals details on Titan M chipset, present on Pixel 3 series

The first to do so is the trusty iFixit, and while digging through the Pixel 3 XL's innards didn't result in any groundbreaking discoveries, there are still a few interesting changes compared to the last generation of Pixel phones.

Furthermore, the company released a blog post breaking down how Titan M protects users.

When Google revealed the data centre Titan chip previous year, the Chocolate Factory said its objective was to provide a "hardware-verified boot and end-to-end authenticated root of trust" for its servers.

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Additionally, the Titan M aids in securing transactions in supported third-party apps, as Android 9 Pie enables apps to take advantage of StrongBox KeyStore APIs to generate and store private keys on the Titan M chip. Titan M will also prevent bad actors from attempting to unlock the bootloader. The chip is also built into the authentication passcode process, preventing too many unsuccessful login attempts when it senses that an attacker may be trying to gain access to the phone. Last year's Pixels were the other way around as the bigger Pixel had LG's P-OLED display while the smaller one relied on Samsung's AMOLED screens. Only once a passcode is verified, will it permit decryption. This is in addition to Google's own Pay service.

Although Google has unveiled its mostly unsurprising Pixel 3 range, the pair has yet to fall into the hands of customers who've pre-ordered. This means malicious actors can't try to flash fake firmware to Titan M to bypass its security. This should not be confused with the Titan Security Key, Google's two-factor authentication dongle, but it's related to Titan, a custom security chip used in Google's data centers.

Additionally, apps can use another API called Protected Confirmation to perform security-critical operations using Titan M. Google suggests applications like e-voting and P2P money transfers could utilize this API.

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