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Electron beam writing systems have been primarily used for photomask and reticle fabrication because of the limited throughput ahievable. A vector‐scan beam writing system (EBSP) has been developed with a 1–1.25 μm resolution capability and ±0.25 μm pattern overlay accuracy and a potential throughput capability of 14 3‐in. slices/h for 1–1.25 μm minimum pattern geometries and 20 3‐in. slices/h for 2.5 μm minimum pattern geometries. This paper discusses the throughput factors for vector‐scan e‐beam systems and describes the new developments and improvements to tne major subsystems of the earlier photomask machine (EBM II) which were necessary to achieve this order of magnitude improvement in throughput.