Google releases the technology of its security chips: this is OpenTitan

Google is a company that beyond developing Android, is a leader in Internet services, an area where security is essential. With all that experience, the great G has decided to create OpenTitan, an organization to create open source security chips.

Programs and applications are not the only thing that can be free code, and that is that the processors themselves that have almost any electronic device are also pieces with much intellectual property. In Google they have thought that the best thing they can do is to release some of their technology so that anyone can use it or improve it, and that's how OpenTitan was born.

Titan was already a synonym for security in Google products

Anyone who knows enough about Google products the name of Titan will be familiar, and it is not for less. Already with the Google Pixel 3 the great G presented an integrated security chip called Titan M, which is responsible for the encryption of the information on the device itself.

This security chip is used in your mobile phones, but also in your data centers. For example, if you have a mobile with Android 9 or higher, when you make a backup copy of your information, it is encrypted within Google's data centers by a specific Titan M chip found on Google's servers.

Another Titan product is the security keys that Google sells to perform a two-step authentication. Titan has become synonymous with security and they want to take it further.

OpenTitan: open source security chips

To expand Titan, Google, in collaboration with several other companies, has created the OpenTitan organization, aimed at creating an open source technology for creating security chips.

And what kind of security do you want to offer? Well, the goal is to be able to create a chip standard with the ability to be a Root of trust (root of trust in Spanish). And what is that root of trust?

Without going into many details, a chip of this category in cryptography is considered as a source of trust. When an application requests a password to decrypt the content, if that code is provided by the security chip, it will be considered valid at all times.

All this technology is extremely complex, and opening it to other companies is expected to continue evolving, just as it offers the ability to adapt the standard to other organizations.

The six key aspects of OpenTitan

  1. Managed by an independent company: OpenTitan is managed by LowRISC, an organization nonprofit that develops and maintains designs and tools for processors.
  2. Open source and intended for non-profit organizations, for academic purposes and commercial companies.
  3. Security through transparency: OpenTitan allows anyone to audit, evaluate and improve the platform.
  4. High quality intellectual property: ETH Zürich, G + D Mobile Security, Google, lowRISC, Nuvoton Technology, and Western Digital have made their security knowledge available on this platform.
  5. Modern architecture: OpenTitan is created under the same principles of quality and safety with which Google's Titan chips were created.
  6. Open to any manufacturer or platform: OpenTitan can be integrated into any type of device, such as data centers, peripherals, mobile or storage devices.

How this can improve security on Android

Malware

The arrival of OpenTitan is a great opportunity for Android manufacturers that did not have the resources to offer a dedicated security processor.

It is not that current mobile phones are unprotected, since all ARM processors have a Trusted Execution Environment (secure execution environment). However, in computer security, any additional layer of security is an addition that is appreciated.

The fingerprint sensor of the Galaxy A50 does not work with the latest firmware

Samsung has given increasing importance to the Galaxy This year, as we have mentioned several times. This is shown in the design of mobile phones, in their features and in their prices, but also in the number of updates.

A good example is the Galaxy A50, which has had many corrections in recent months to polish some features and add others.

One of the ones that seems not to go very well is the fingerprint sensor, which has been the protagonist of the last update received. With a problem: now it doesn't work.

Unable to scan new tracks

When Samsung improves this part of its phones in a firmware, it is usually recommended to users to erase their fingerprints and scan them again, so that the system is more accurate. The problem is that this time, when we are in the process of memorizing the footprint, we cannot exceed 41.

There are several users who have reported that the mobile indicates that they have to have a clean and dry footprint to proceed, a warning that it is possible that sometimes we will have seen in our mobiles, but that this time does not obey on any occasion.

Other users have explained that they have managed to finish the process, but that the system does not recognize their fingerprints when they put it to unlock the mobile.

For now, no solution

It is clear that Samsung should analyze this problem and give a solution, a firmware that replaces the versions A505FNXXS3ASK9 and A505FDDS3ASK8, which are affected.

While that happens, we are very afraid that the only alternative is to use other unlocking systems, such as the PIN or the pattern, which are still functional in the Galaxy A50.

The peculiar Alcatel 3T 10 4G tablet can now be purchased in Spain

Not many Android tablets are usually presented today. The market seems quite small and renewal rates are not high enough to see many proposals, or at least not as many as happens in the smartphone sector.

In spite of that, some brands venture and in February we saw the announcement of the Alcatel 3T 10 4G, a tablet of contained price and some striking function.

Alcatel 3Q 10

Features Alcatel 3T 10 4G

  • Processor – Eight-core processor
  • RAM memory: 2 GB.
  • Storage.
    • Internal: 16 GB.
    • microSD: Up to 128 GB.
  • screen.
    • Size: 10 inches.
    • Resolution: 800 × 1200 pixels.
    • IPS
    • Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  • Rear camera.
    • Resolution: 2 Mpx with aperture f / 2.8
    • Others: 720p video at 30 fps
  • Front camera.
    • Resolution: 2 Mpx with aperture f / 2.8
  • Connectivity: Micro-USB, 3.5mm jack, 4G / LTE, WiFi 802.11 a / c, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS,
  • Others:
  • Dimensions: 260 x 156.6 x 8.95mm
  • Weight: 440 grams
  • Drums: 4080 mAh
  • System:
    • Android Version: 9.0 Pie

A powerful sound

Although this is not a high-end tablet, Alcatel wanted to take care of the sound in several ways. For starters it has two front speakers, something that is barely seen in this price range.

In addition, we have an accessory called Audio station. It is a speaker that enhances the sound of it. You can buy the accessory with the tablet or separately. This speaker is connected by bluetooth but also serves as the charging base of the Alcatel 3T thanks to its microUSB connector that we can put in the tablet.

Finally, the microphones have been improved so that we can talk with the tablet up to a distance of 3 meters, perfect for use in the kitchen and even replace a Google Home.

Price and availability

Prices had already been announced but it is now when it reaches stores in Spain. The model with the speaker costs 229 euros while the tablet alone costs 179 euros.

Remember that this model has a SIM slot and 4G connectivity, so we can use it outside the home comfortably and without needing a mobile to act as a router.