High-defect density in thermodynamics driven directed self-assembly (DSA) flows has been a major cause of concern for a while and several questions have been raised about the relevance of DSA in high-volume manufacturing. The major questions raised in this regard are: (1) What is the intrinsic level of DSA-induced defects? (2) Can we isolate the DSA-induced defects from the other processes-induced defects? (3) How much do the DSA materials contribute to the final defectivity and can this be controlled? (4) How can we understand the root causes of the DSA-induced defects and their kinetics of annihilation? (5) Can we have block copolymer anneal durations that are compatible with standard CMOS fabrication techniques (in the range of minutes) with low-defect levels? We address these important questions and identify the issues and the level of control needed to achieve a stable DSA defect performance.