Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Displays Ltd. have announced a joint agreement to establish a company to manufacture and sell LCD panels for flat panel TVs. The joint venture, to be called IPS Alpha Technology Ltd., is scheduled to begin operating Jan. 1. Hitachi Displays President Fumiaki Yonai will concurrently serve as president of IPS Alpha, which will manufacture LCD panels using Hitachi Displays' in-plane switching mode system, a type of TFT LCD display technology. The new company will be located in Mobara, Japan. . . . Tektronix Inc., a Beaverton, Ore.-based provider of test, measurement and monitoring instruments for the communications, computer and semiconductor industries, announced that Korean electronics supplier LG Electronics has purchased four of its digital phosphor oscilloscopes, to be used in testing digital TV designs. . . . VLSI Research Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., a high-technology market research and economic analysis firm, has launched the Chip History Center (CHC), at www.chiphistory.org, a virtual online museum that documents the history of the semiconductor industry. Created in collaboration with Intel, Novellus, Tokyo Electron (TEL) and Kulicke & Soffa, it features video archives, equipment landmarks and documents spanning years of innovation, including Intel's R&D history, the Novellus video that ignited the copper revolution, Kulicke & Soffa's 50th anniversary and TEL's 40th anniversary videos. Also included are some of the industry's most notable equipment blunders. "Carefully selected by Jerry Hutcheson, VLSI's founder, this portion of the CHC provides an invaluable, always-accessible resource for the systems that made Moore's Law possible," the company said.