Actinic mask defect inspection and metrology requires high-brightness extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) sources. The self-absorption of radiation limits the in-band EUV radiance of the source plasma and makes it difficult to attain the necessary brightness and power from a conventional single unit EUV source. One possible solution is through multiplexing of multiple low etendue sources. NANO-UV is delivering a new generation of EUV light source, the CYCLOPS, in which a micro-plasma-pulsed discharge source is integrated to a photon collector based on an in situ active plasma structure. The source module is characterized by high brightness, low etendue, and high irradiance at moderate output power without the use of external physical optics. Such a source could form the basic building block of EUV source through spatial-temporal multiplexing of several units to deliver the brightness and power required for actinic mask metrology. We report on the EUV source development including the extensive numerical modeling, which provided the basic parameters required for high irradiance operating regimes. A new Sn-alloy cathode material enhances the output. Based upon the multiplexing concept, a family of specially configured multiplexed source structures, the HYDRA design, is being introduced to address the mask metrology needs.