Alternative routes to 0.5μm lithography made possible by new developments in lenses, excimer lasers and resists are discussed. Steppers using excimer laser illumination with wavelength of 248nm provide 0.5μm lithography. Advanced processing techniques such as image reversal and contrast enhancement materials, make possible dramatic increases in resolution. New higher numerical aperture i-line lenses coupled with these processes also provide 0.5μm lithography. Experimental results illustrate the possibilities and trade-offs of alternate technologies.