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

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 J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...