A small lot Automated Material Handling System (AMHS) is presented as a method to reduce the time between wafer exposure at a photolithography tool and collection of metrology / inspection data. A new AMHS system that is capable of the move rates required by small lot wafer transport is described, its implementation in a photolithography bay is explained, and the resulting reduction in metrology delay time is quantified. In addition, a phased implementation approach is described in which some, but not all, components of the new AMHS would be installed in existing fabs to enhance the move rate capability of traditional overhead transport (OHT) AMHS systems. This partial implementation would enable a partial lot size reduction and corresponding metrology delay time reduction of 60-70%. The full AMHS solution would be installed in new fabs and enable true small lot manufacturing in the litho area and would result in the maximum delay time reduction of 75-85%.