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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Joins Storage Startup

Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak

A startup storage company has attracted the computer industry's most legendary most brilliant geek -- Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak -- as its chief scientist. The company, Fusion-io, made the announcement Thursday.

Fusion-io has attracted attention for its NAND flash technology, initially planned for enterprise configurations, because of its very fast access speed and its relatively high price that's still beyond the means of most consumers.

In an ebullient statement, Wozniak hailed the company where he has been working as a member of the advisory board.

"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," said Wozniak. "The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer."

As the engineering force behind the development of Apple's first computers, Wozniak has been something of a hero to the technical people of personal computing. Since his early days at Apple, he has led a peripatetic existence, returning to college to earn his degree, throwing big parties, and dabbling in a few companies.

At Fusion-io, which was founded in 2006, Wozniak has counseled on "market trends, product road maps, and other strategic activities," according to the company, which said he would continue working in those areas in addition to his new duties as chief scientist.

Fusion-io's early products have garnered high praise from their first users, who have said they're much faster and cheaper than other storage systems on the market. The flagship ioDrive is a solid-state storage technology that connects via PCI Express. A networked enterprise version, ioSAN, and a consumer ioXtreme product are other Fusion-io products.