Google boasts Titan M security chip in Pixel 3

Alonzo Simpson
October 18, 2018

At their event last week, Google made a fair to-do about their new Titan security chip, outlining some of the features on-stage in NY. 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. While we did know that this chip is meant to make the new devices more secure, Google has now revealed details on exactly how the Titan M chip works in a new blog post.

Because it was obviously too early to altogether pull the plug on Pixel 2 and 2 XL sales on the heels of the Pixel 3 announcement a couple of weeks back, Google made a decision to mark down the larger, more bug-plagued version of the two 2017 stock Android handsets. In line with this, Titan M enables Protected Confirmation, a new set of APIs in Android 9.0 Pie that protects critical processes. Here, Titan M works with the bootloader to verify that you're running the newest, safest version of Android.

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That helps explain the PIxel 3 and Pixel 3 XL's great results for color gamut, accuracy and more in DisplayMate's latest phone display tests. Arm also provides blueprints for installing roots of trust in system-on-chips.

Titan M also limits the amount of logon attempts with your passcode, helping to prevent malicious decryption. The chip is physically removed from the main processor cores, reducing the risk of data being siphoned off from side channels.

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