The fabrication cost of the semiconductor device is increasing because the fabrication cost per wafer unit area and the mask cost are increasing rapidly with the design rule decreased. The rapid increase in the mask cost will influence the semiconductor industry growth. The progress in the lithography, including the mask, is the key issue for the progress in the entire semiconductor technology beyond 180 nm design rule, because the mask is indispensable for any types of lithography, and is regarded as one of the most critical technologies, both in resolution and productivity. To continue the progress in the entire semiconductor technology and the growth of the semiconductor business, it is indispensable to make challenges in the low cost and high precision mask technology under the cooperation with related industries and academia. It is especially important to develop the cost optimum solution for the total lithography technology including masks.