VCAD – A Virtual Enterprise Collaboration Model Impacting the Semiconductor Industry

W.-E. Matzke, G. Strube, H. Schmidt-Habich (Germany), and L. Drenan (USA)


Collaborative Strategies, Virtual Environments, Collaboration Technologies


This paper describes how VCAD, a new collaborative relationship model, could impact the semiconductor industry. Based on studies to analyse the global semiconductor industry and the business-to-business (B2B) relationships between semiconductor and electronic design automation (EDA) companies, the paper puts these findings in the context of the overall semiconductor industry. In the course of the paper, the high-level concept of a Virtual Enterprise (VE) is introduced and Virtual Integrated Computer Aided Design (VCAD), a variant of a VE collaboration model capable of operating across time zones and locations, including a (patent pending) collaboration technology supporting, is described. A brief case study of a real-life VCAD project is presented. The VCAD concept puts a special focus on supportive technologies and tools for collaboration enabling efficiency, security and confidentiality. It combines multiple aspects and can be applied in general to manage dyadic B2B relationships in high-tech market conditions, characterized by extreme challenging requirements of flexibility, agility, and adaptability. Applying VCAD to the difficult semiconductor-EDA relationships provides a challenging test scenario, which provided initial evidence for the benefits of the virtual enterprise concept. Observations from real-life VCAD relationships show how the concept has been applied during the past four years with success, despite an extremely negative economic climate. The paper closes with an outlook on the potential business impact of consequent application of the VCAD model.

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