Despite Changes In Taiwan, Soyo's U.S. Motherboard, VoIP Business Moves Forward

That's the kind of confusion faced by customers of Ontario, Calif.-based Soyo Group in the wake of the news that Soyo Taiwan is exiting the motherboard business.

All the confusion stems from the number of Soyo companies involved in the tech industry.

Ming Chok, president and CEO of Soyo Group, said the U.S.-based company is still making motherboards. It maintains a R&D and sourcing relationship with Soyo Enterprises in Taiwan. However, one additional company, Soyo Taiwan, is indeed existing the business to focus on components and plastics.

Chock said Soyo Taiwan and Soyo Group have been separate organizations since late 2002, when Soyo Group went public in the U.S. Soyo Group was formed after Soyo Taiwan was acquired by another vendor. It is doing well in the motherboard and peripherals business, and is also pushing into the voice-over-IP space, Chok said.

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However, he said the confusion is understandable. "There are too many calls about this," he said. "The first thing people ask is, what happens to my products? My warranty? We still honor all warranties. Whatever support you need, we still continue."

Much of Soyo's motherboard business goes through retailers such as Fry's and Tiger Direct. However, the company also does motherboard and industrial PC business through such distributors as Ma Labs, D&H, and ASI, said Chok.

Going forward, the company also will focus on VoIP products, which it sells under the Z-Connect brand.

Chok said Soyo is already shipping the Z-Connect AVRO 3001 VoIP router and the Z-Connect G668 IP phone in limited quantities through the channel, and will shortly shipping a 4-port gateway. He expects to ship them in volume to both the solution provider and retail channels in December.

Early next year, Soyo plans to introduce a dual-mode VoIP gateway which connects between a standard phone and a standard PBX system to give existing phone systems VoIP capabilities, said Chok. "You can add voice-over-IP without users even knowing they are using voice-over-IP. . . . It's bullet-proof: If there's any problem with the dual-mode gateway, the phone calls still go through the original PBX system," he said.

By late 2005, Soyo will follow the dual-mode gateway with an IP PBX to replace a company's existing PBX for complete VoIP capabilities, Chok said.