SAN JOSE, Calif. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will join solid-state drive startup Fusion-io as chief scientist. The man who helped design the original Apple computer will advise the startup on technologies and techniques to expand its reach in the rapidly growing market for flash-based storage.
Fusion-io released in September 2007 its ioDrive, which packs 80 to 640 Gbytes of NAND flash on a PCI Express card, aiming to replace both hard drives and traditional solid-state drives. Its novel controller design allows performance of up to 100,000 I/O operations per second (IOPS), matching the throughput of the PCI Express bus the card rides.
The company is one of many drive and controller makers vying for a slice of an expanding pie in flash drives. Initially critics said its approach was flawed because it was wedded to the PCI Express bus while most implementations were aimed at more typical storage interfaces such as Serial ATA and Serial-Attached SCSI.
"Fusion-io's technology is extremely useful to many different applications and almost all of the world's servers," said Wozniak in a prepared statement. "The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer," he added.
Prior to his appointment as chief scientist at Fusion-io, Wozniak was a member of the company's advisory board, consulting on market trends, product road maps and other strategic activities. Wozniak, aka The Woz, has worked with a number of startups since leaving Apple in 1981.
"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," said Don Basile, chief executive of Fusion-io.
The startup is working with IBM on its Project Quicksilver to deliver more than a million IOPS by presenting multiple ioDrives as a shared storage solution.