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Apple founder Wozniak joins solid-state drive company

SSD maker Fusion-io announced today that Apple founder Steve Wozniak has joined it as Chief Scientist. According to a Fusion-io press release, “Wozniak will act as a key technical advisor to the Fusion-io research and development group. He will also work closely with the executive team of Fusion-io in formulating a company strategy that will accelerate the expansion of major global accounts.”

Wozniak is a big name for an emerging company like Fusion-io to land. Sometimes known as Apple’s “other Steve,” Wozniak is credited with significant engineering contributions to the personal computer revolution of the 1970’s.

Interestingly, Wozniak is not the only former Apple exec who has found his way to the storage–and specifically, solid-state storage–industry. Michael Cornwell, now heading up NAND business development for Sun Microsystems, was previously the manager of storage engineering for the iPod division of Apple.

Fusion-io came out of stealth last March with a PCIe flash card designed to give off-the-shelf servers SAN-like performance. Fusion-io calls its product the ioDrive, and it’s NAND-based storage that comes in 80 Gbyte, 160 Gbyte and 320 Gbyte configurations. The ioDrive fits in a standard PCI express slot, shows up to an operating system as traditional storage and can be enabled as virtual swap space. IBM announced last fall that it will be partnering with Fusion-io to add ioDrives to its servers, which may include the servers that run its SAN Volume Controller (SVC) network-based storage virtualization product.

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