While EUV lithography is still maturing, optical lithography is expected to continue as the primary lithographic technology for manufacturing over the next several years. Extension of water-based immersion lithography to below 20 nm half-pitch (10 nm logic node) requires the use of innovative resolution enhancement techniques, solutions to complexities introduced by hyper-NA optics, and extensive use of double or multiple sequential exposure and patterning techniques, and even complementary use of optical lithography with nontraditional techniques. In addition to resolution, very tight process (and overlay) control and high-quality photomasks are also necessary. The successful use of optics to provide viable working solutions for these device nodes will require fundamental integration of all aspects of the patterning process. Recently material-based dimension scaling based on the use of creative solutions, such as “freezing” first resist in double patterning approach and the use of directed self-assembly in optically created guiding patterns, are getting strong momentum from both academia and industry as a low-cost alternative. For 14 nm and beyond, early design technology co-optimization is necessary to ensure the patterning solution can enable design for products. In summary, a holistic optimization of all lithography steps, including physical design optimization, is required to extend optical lithography for further dimension scaling down to the 7 nm node and maybe beyond. This special edition is intended for topics that are advancing the field of optical nano- and microlithography beyond the 14 nm technology node circuit scaling.