HP brought out a surprise endorsement at an embargoed event in New York last week: Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak. He appeared via a pre-recorded video (above) in typical idiosyncratic fashion, atop a Segway somewhere in California, to the audience of journalists (including me) and analysts.
Woz lavished praise on HP's Z420, Z620 and Z820 workstations, describing them as a "marvel of engineering" – an opinion apparently garnered from a visit to HP's R&D HQ in Fort Collins, Texas. You can watch the video below.
The reason for Woz's endorsement soon became clear. Woz is chief scientist at high-end storage Fusion-io, which makes Fusion ioFX boards (below) with up to 1.6TB of storage that sit inside workstations, connected through the internal PCI Express slot. This allows video pros to work with very high-res resolution video – including 2K, 4K and 5K, as well as stereoscopic 3D content – in real-time.
Companies such as Magma and mLogic offer an external chassis to wrap around the ioFX, which allows you to connect it to a Mac (or a Windows laptop) via Thunderbolt – but the primary market for these is tower workstations, which means Windows PCs such as HP's new Z-series.
Woz is no stranger to working with HP. He worked there from 1970-76 before founding Apple with Steve Jobs (who also spent time working at HP in the early 70s).
Woz's video appeared alongside live presentations designed to showcase HP's position within the video post-production and visual effects markets – including wheeling out video editors who have moved from using Final Cut Pro on older Mac Pros to Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer on HP's workstations and laptops.
Correction 6pm: Story updated as external chassis are made by third parties, not Fusion-io itself.