Mask technology development has accelerated dramatically in recent years from the glacial pace of the last three decades to the rapid and sometimes simultaneous introductions of new wavelengths and mask-based resolution enhancement techniques. The nature of the semiconductor business has also become one driven by time-to-market as an overwhelming factor in capturing market share and profit. These are among the factors that have created enormous stress on the mask industry to produce masks with enhanced capabilities, such as phase-shifting attenuators, sub-resolution assist bars, and optical proximity correction (OPC) features, while maintaining or reducing cost and cycle time. The mask can no longer be considered a commodity item that is purchased form the lowest-cost supplier. Instead, it must now be promoted as an integral part of the technical and business case for a total lithographic solution. Improving partnership between designer, mask-maker, and wafer lithographer will be the harbinger of success in finding a profitable balance of capability, cost, and cycle time. Likewise for equipment infrastructure development, stronger partnership on the international level is necessary to control development cost and mitigate schedule and technical risks.