Wozniak Exits 'Quiet Life,' Joins Storage Startup Fusion-io

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-02-05 Print this article Print

The Apple co-founder and chief technologist hooks up with a Salt Lake City-based company that makes compact NAND flash storage arrays. Wozniak will be chief scientist after serving as a Fusion-io board member. His schedule starts immediately.

So The Woz is officially back in the real world of day-to-day IT strategy and operations.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder and former chief technologist of Apple Computer, revealed Feb. 4 that he is coming out of semi-retirement and joining Fusion-io, a Salt Lake City-based storage startup that makes compact NAND flash storage arrays, as its chief scientist.

Wozniak, 59, has been serving as a Fusion-io board member for the last year and decided he wanted to get more involved with what the company is doing. His schedule starts immediately, a company spokesman told eWEEK.

Fusion-io ioDrive is the first direct-attached, solid-state server storage array that uses PCI-Express (PCIe) connectivity. The ioDrive is small-barely larger than a typical handheld device-that uses advanced NAND flash chip clustering to perform the same functions as a spinning desk storage array, only with much faster read/write performance and with much less power draw.

120K Read/Write IOPS?

The company claims ioDrive is capable of 120,000 random read/write IOPS-about 100 times faster than a typical SATA (serial ATA) drive.

PCIe (PCI Express) was introduced by Intel in 2004. It is a computer expansion card standard based on point-to-point serial links rather than a shared parallel bus architecture, and is designed to replace the older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.

Many industry observers believe SSD-powered drives are the wave of the future in storage arrays and in laptops. eWEEK has covered this extensively in the last several years.

Wozniak will act as a key technical adviser to the Fusion-io research and development group. Naturally, the company also will trade heavily on his name and reputation in helping it move into major global accounts.

"Steve Wozniak has been among the most elite innovators of his age, and we are honored by his enthusiasm for our technology and our company," Don Basile, CEO of Fusion-io, said in a press statement.

"Steve's inventions and insights have inspired generations of IT professionals, and we look forward to the influence he will have on the future direction of Fusion-io as we continue to transform the enterprise." 

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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