The Best Pixel 6 Tensor Chip Upgrade No Speed. This is Security


Google’s new flagship Pixel 6 and 6 Pro smartphones got it strong reviews so far, thanks in part standard Tensor processor content. Google designed the “one chip system” at home, it offers a speed and efficiency advantage similar to what Apple enjoys its homegrown silicon. And while there are many who admire fast performance and all -day battery life, the Tensor offers another, lesser -known benefit: security.

Google is not alone in this pushing to make its own smartphone chips, a trend established throughout the industry in the last few years. By controlling every layer — hardware, firmware, and software — companies no longer have to rely on the capabilities of outside partners. Consequently, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro take some major steps such as guaranteeing security updates for five years, from the industry standard to three years. (Apple typically supports older iPhones for up to seven years, but has made no promises going forward.)

Some of the most common security and privacy benefits of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro aren’t very clear, though, and have to do with how Tensor and Google add. Titan M2 security chip working in the loop and protecting sensitive data. Added recently aspects of transparency and security protection from Android 12 on top of that, the Pixel team says its goal is to make the cost of hacking 6 and 6 Pro as high as possible for attackers.

“It doesn’t mean there are no more bugs, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to hack, but the cost keeps going up,” said Dave Kleidermacher, vice president of engineering for security and privacy at Android. “I think it’s becoming more and more clear that open source strategy is the winning strategy.”

That strategy is in stark contrast to Apple’s closed iOS ecosystem, which definitely has its security struggles on just recently years. Then again, Android there as well, and cites the added barrier of manufacturers offering their own versions of the operating system on their hardware — meaning that not all security and privacy updates can make it to every device in a timely manner, if at all .

The Pixel 6 and 6 Plus have all those things, though. Tensor is based on ARM technology, and uses the company’s stand-alone architecture, TrustZone, as a way to prevent sensitive data and calculations. But Tensor also offers an isolated, open source sandbox known as Private Compute Core that uses special data analysis techniques to leverage Android features like Live Caption and Smart Reply suggestions without storing or sharing any data with Google. The goal is to offer and customized features without your identifying data no longer on your devices. In Pixel 6 and 6 Plus, TrustZone and Private Compute Core run a special, secure, open source Google operating system known as Trusty OS.

And safe processing fun doesn’t stop there. Tensor also has a dedicated physical area, Tensor Security Core, that communicates with the Titan M2 chip to protect important processes such as safe boot. The Titan M2 is a completely separate custom chip that now has more memory, more storage, and more robust cryptography engines for things like encryption key management and biometric authentication.



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