The goal of this paper is to define a 'state of the art' of the lithographic performance obtained with an advanced 193 nm single layer resist process, for 150 nm technology generation specification and below. Even if the goal of the paper is not to propose a process ready to be implemented in pilot lines, the resist used should be commercially available and exhibit good performance. The Sumitomo PAR101 A4 meets both criteria and is selected for the study. In order to get the best performance from the resist, all evaluation work is completed using a BARC. Both inorganic and organic materials are first considered; their processes are optimized to obtain the best reflectivity control and chemical compatibility with the resist. Then, using G0, conventional illumination and a binary reticle, the process performance is evaluated in terms of linearity, depth of focus, energy latitude and proximity effects for 150 nm and 130 nm lines, and depth of focus and energy latitude for 170 nm contact holes. Different optical extension techniques are then compared for increasing the 130 nm lines process latitudes: off-axis illumination, and alternating phase shift masks.