Profit margins on high-volume ICs, such as the 256-K DRAM, are now inadequate. U.S. and foreign manufacturers cannot fully recover the ICs' engineering costs before a new round of product competition begins. Consequently, some semiconductor manufacturers are seeking less competitive designs with healthier, longer lasting profitability. These designs must be converted quickly from CAD to functional circuits in order for irofits to be realized. For ultrahigh performance devices, customized circuits, and rapid verification of design, FIB (focused ion beam) systems provide a viable alternative to the lengthy process of producing a large mask set. Early models of FI equipment did not require sophisticated software. However, as FIB technology approaches adolescence, it must be supported by software that gives the user a friendly system, the flexibility to design a wide variety of circuits, and good growth potential for tomorrow's ICs. Presented here is an overview of IBT's MicroFocus" 150 hardware, followed by descriptions of several MicroFocus software modules. Data preparation techniques from IBCAD formats to chip layout are compared to the more conventional lithographies. The MicroFocus 150 schemes for user interfacing, error logging, calibration, and subsystem control are given. The MicroFocus's pattern generator and bit slice software are explained. IBT's FIB patterning algorithms, which allow the fabrication of unique device types, are reviewed.