Deep Ultraviolet Lithography is slowly gaining widespread use. Although the introduction of 248 nm excimer laser steppers and step&scan systems has been slower than anticipated, all of the advanced wafer fabs are now using two of the three technology platforms in mix-and-match with I-line steppers or scanners. But the aggressive acceleration of the roadmaps, both for device technology as well as for equipment, brings some new and challenging questions into maskmaking, one of the key segments of today's IC manufacturing. Long having been in the discussion as one of the potential roadblocks, we are rapidly approaching the limits of manufacturability, and new ways to write, process, inspect and qualify a mask need to be developed. Although a lot of different efforts are under way, the area that still leaves the most doubts in the end user is mask qualification: does the mask meet the CD requirements, and is it free of any printable (CD) defects? This paper will give an insight on new tools that will be needed to help fully characterizing a mask, and will also try to investigate some of the printability concerns.