At Intel Mask Operations (IMO), Standard Mechanical Interface (SMIF) processing has been employed to reduce environmental particle contamination from manual handling-related activities. SMIF handling entailed the utilization of automated robotic transfers of photoblanks/reticles between SMIF pods, whereas conventional handling utilized manual pick transfers of masks between SMIF pods with intermediate storage in Toppan compacts. The SMIF-enabling units in IMO's process line included: (1) coater, (2) exposure, (3) developer, (4) dry etcher, and (5) inspection. Each unit is equipped with automated I/O port, environmentally enclosed processing chamber, and SMIF pods. Yield metrics were utilized to demonstrate the effectiveness and advantages of SMIF processing compared to manual processing. The areas focused in this paper were blank resist coating, binary front-end reticle processing and 2nd level PSM reticle processing. Results obtained from the investigation showed yield improvements in these areas.