Alphabet aims to steal the cloud services show from Amazon.com and Microsoft and to that end it has shown off its latest Titan computer chip featuring elaborate security features.
While the name may infer something of a gigantic nature, that’s not the case at all as the Titan chip is the size of a tiny stud earring that Google has installed in each of the many thousands of computer servers and network cards that populate its massive data centers that power Google’s cloud services.
The way the chip works is that it scans hardware to ensure it has not been tampered with said Neal Mueller, head of infrastructure product marketing for Google Cloud Platform, in an interview recently. If anything has been changed, Titan chip will prevent the machine from booting.
“It allows us to maintain a level of understanding in our supply chain that we otherwise wouldn’t have,” Mueller said.
One of the most dreaded security breach that could happen is at the hardware level by cyber criminals or nation-state hackers who could compromise servers right where they are manufactured by installing a chip or device right at the manufacturing hub. That’s what Google intends to weed out using its Titan chip.
Google holds just 7 per cent of the worldwide cloud market. Titan is part of a strategy Google hopes will differentiate its services and attract enterprise customers from sectors with complex compliance regulations, such as those in financial services and the medical field. Google announced Titan in March.
Google uses Titan chips to protect the servers running its own services like search, Gmail and YouTube, and the company claims Titan has already driven sales. It points to Metamarkets, a real-time analytics firm, as a customer it landed in part due to Titan.