Twelve major high-tech firms plan to launch an independent company to operate an open Internet exchange serving the high-tech supply-chain community. The exchange's end-to-end services will be available to all parties in the supply-chain process: electronics makers, contract manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. It is expected to lower manufacturing and purchasing transaction costs, better match inventory supply and demand throughout the supply chain, improve ability to deliver products quickly and predictably, and provide expertise on supply-chain "best practices." A full-time interim management team with representatives from the founders has been chartered to form and launch the business. Founders -- whose yearly revenues range from about $3 billion to $66 billion -- include: AMD, Compaq, Gateway, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, Infineon, NEC, Quantum, Samsung, SCI Systems, Solectron, and Western Digital.