MONTREAL, Quebec -- An online chip exchange announced here Tuesday will provide worldwide digital trade of semiconductors for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) without the need for chip brokers. The Virtual Chip Exchange (VCE) is a joint venture between Munich's ce-Consumer Electronic AG and Mediagrif, a Canadian e-commerce software company.
VCE will provide a worldwide interface between semiconductor makers and OEMs. "The Virtual Chip Exchange is a new concept that provides a transparency that previously did not exist in this highly complex market," said ce-Consumer Electronic chairman Erich J. Lejeune. "VCE brings together manufacturers, distributors, and end users on one virtual trading floor."
Ce-Consumer Electronic is Europe's largest broker of active and passive components. With the formation of VCE, it will add higher-value products such as processors.
Starting in January 1999, customers can access the VCE home page to search for semiconductors or offer what they have in stock for sale. The delivery logistics will be handled by ce-Consumer Electronic.
"We intend to appeal to the OEM market that trade among themselves," said Mike Wood, vice president of VCE. Customers will have direct access to large inventories, without having to run the high costs of warehousing.
Especially for the chip industry, this sales channel could help reduce overcapacities; VCE will free up capital that is tied up in inventory, Wood said. Negotiations between VCE and one of Europe's biggest chip manufacturers are close to completion. The company expects to have 500 companies subscribing within the first year, mostly in Europe, with a push in Asia to follow, he added.