The Microlithographic Mask Development Center (MMD) was established as the X-ray mask manufacturing facility at the IBM Microelectronics Division semiconductor fabricator in Essex Junction, Vermont. This center, in operation for over two years, produces high yielding, defect-free X-ray masks for competitive logic and memory products at 250nm groundrules and below. The MMD is a complete mask facility that manufactures silicon membrane mask blanks in the NIST format and finished masks with electroplated gold X-ray absorber. Mask patterning, with dimensions as small as 180 nm, is accomplished using IBM-built variable shaped spot e-beam systems. Masks are routinely inspected and repaired using state-of-the-art equipment: two KLA SEM Specs for defect inspection, a Leica LMS 2000 for image placement characterization, an Amray 2040c for image dimension characterization and a Micrion 8000 XMR for defect repair. This facility maintains a baseline mask process with daily production of 250nm, 32Mb SRAM line monitor masks for the continuous improvement of mask quality and processes. Development masks are produced for several semiconductor manufacturers including IBM, Motorola, Loral, and Sanders. Masks for 64Mb and 256Mb DRAM (IBM) and advanced logic/SRAM (IBM and Motorola) designs have also been delivered. This paper describes the MMD facility and its technical capabilities. Key manufacturing metrics such as mask turnaround time, parametric yield learning and defect reduction activities are highlighted. The challenges associated with improved mask quality, sub-180nm mask fabrication, and the transition to refractory metal absorber are discussed.