Woz joins Fusion-io

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will serve as chief scientist at the solid-state drive start-up.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has joined Fusion-io, a start-up specializing in high-speed solid-state drives, the company said Thursday.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak Stephen Shankland/CNET News

Wozniak will be Fusion-io's chief scientist and will also advise the company on technical strategy for product development.

"With the revolutionary technological advances being made by Fusion-io, the company is in the right place at the right time with the right technology and ready to direct the history of technology into the 21st century and beyond," Wozniak said in a statement. "The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer. Fusion-io's technology is extremely useful to many different applications and almost all of the world's servers."

Fusion-io CEO David Flynn told CNET News in August he expects that solid-state drives will house active data while hard disk drives will go the way of tape--only being used to store data.

Given Wozniak's philosophy that engineers should follow their hearts , his move would seem to indicate that he agrees with Flynn.

Some other tech heavyweights do, too. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company was named a Red Herring Top 100 Global company on Monday.

Fusion-io has been touted by the tech media in recent months for its ioDrive.

The ioDrive, which comes with 80GB, 160GB, or 320GB of storage, uses high-speed flash memory and can be installed alongside servers' computational chips. Fusion-io claims its ioDrive has a write bandwidth of 500 MB/s and a read bandwidth of 700 MB/s. Some SSD testing sites have concurred that Fusion-io's speed claims are true.

While the high-speed, solid-state drives are intended for data center servers, rumors have spread across the Internet that a version of Fusion-io's technology for personal consumers may be in the works.

Storage and servers are not glamorous work. But if Wozniak could do for storage what he did for the personal computer, the tech industry may have another positive revolution on its hands.

No word on whether Wozniak plans to appear in New York on March 3 at the Storage Virtualization 2009 Seminar Series of which Fusion-io is a sponsor. Given this news, a lot more people will probably be signing up to attend.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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