Source-mask optimization (SMO) in optical lithography has in recent years been the subject of increased exploration as an enabler of 22/20nm and beyond technology nodes [1-6]. It has been shown that intensive optimization of the fundamental degrees of freedom in the optical system allows for the creation of nonintuitive solutions in both the source and mask, which yields improved lithographic performance. This paper will demonstrate the value of SMO software in resolution enhancement techniques (RETs). Major benefits of SMO include improved through-pitch performance, the possibility of avoiding double exposure, and superior performance on two dimensional (2D) features. The benefits from only optimized source, only optimized mask, and both source and mask optimized together will be demonstrated. Furthermore, we leverage the benefits from intensively optimized masks to solve large array problems in memory use models (MUMs). Mask synthesis and data prep flows were developed to incorporate the usage of SMO, including both RETs and MUMs, in several critical layers during 22/20nm technology node development. Experimental assessment will be presented to demonstrate the benefits achieved by using SMO during 22/20nm node development. © 2011 SPIE.