New MEBES reticle writers are described that meet the production requirements of the 350- nm and 250-nm design rules required for 64 Mb and first generation 256 Mb DRAM techniques. These raster scan e-beam systems are based on the MEBES IV thermal field emission (TFE) exposure system, in production use since early 1992. The MEBES IV-TFE system exceeds its 500-nm design rule requirement and is routinely used to product reticles of first-generation 64 Mb DRAMs, prototype 256 Mb DRAMs, and phase shift masks. The success of MEBES IV-TFE is based on a close working relationship with system users, who provided input to establish the requirements of the new reticle writers. The new reticle writers are the result of a two-phase development program. The initial phase, completed in 1993, focused on productivity improvements to the base system, which proved to have excellent accuracy. These improvements ease the handling of the large pattern files, improve the use of the 160 MHz writing rate with a faster data path and more efficient writing strategy, and improve overall system utilization with in situ (maskless) beam-calibration techniques. The second phase of development, completed early in 1994, focused on the production reticle requirements of second-generation 64 Mb DRAM, including optical proximity correction features, and first-generation 256 Mb DRAM. The second development phase improves data path speed, system accuracy, and system productivity. System and subsystem performance is shown for the first and second development phases. Lithographic and write-time performance on the product is presented and discussed in the context of system requirements.