MicroVue Ltd., a Scottish manufacturer of high-resolution reflective ferroelectric liquid crystal on silicon microdisplay chipsets, announced that Hitachi High-Technologies Corp., of Japan, will distribute its products in Korea and Japan, with an emphasis on the single-channel rear-projection television market and other markets for MicroVue’s SXGA (1280 x 1024) reflective microdisplays. . . . Applied Materials Inc. has received US Patent No. 6,537,133 for a method of in situ endpoint detection for chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) operations, used in manufacturing advanced chips. Applied Materials' optical endpoint technology, available on its Mirra, Mirra Mesa and Reflexion CMP systems, uses a laser to direct a light beam through a transparent window in the polishing pad to the wafer. Light reflected from the wafer provides information to determine the precise point at which the polishing process must be stopped. . . . Michael T. O'Neill and Peter J. Simone have joined Newport Corp.'s board of directors. O'Neill is president and CEO of Miragene Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in proteomics and molecular diagnostics. Simone is an independent consultant to several venture capital firms and venture-funded private companies.