Memory tagging extension (MTE) is a hardware feature that protects from memory safety bugs (it improves runtime performance). Let’s check the other details.
Android 14 Advanced Memory Protection Feature
Google working on this MTE for a long time. In Android 12, Google added three MTE operating modes for compatible devices- synchronous mode, asynchronous mode, and asymmetric mode. It is possible to enable MTE for system processes at build time, through system and environment variables. When we enable for process in Android, memory safety bugs such as use after free and overflow trigger a crash instead of silent memory corruption.
In Android 13, the company added an ABI, so userspace can communicate the requested MTE operating mode to the bootloader. You can enable MTE on compatible devices that do not ship it. It’s enabled by default but it could be disabled if needed. Put system property to ‘true’. Bootloader that supports ABI then presses a button for the Developer options menu that allows users to enable MTE on the next reboot.
In Android 14, enabling MTE is no longer needed to go in the Developer options. If the device features an Arm v8.5+ CPU with MTE support, the device implementation supports the ABI for communicating the requested MTE operating mode to the bootloader.