Giant magnetoresistive (GMR) materials-based magnetic random access memory (MRAM) has become attractive due to non-volatility, speed and density1. The vertical MRAM (VMRAM) design model shows good signal level and high speed and density potential. The memory cell for the VMRAM model is a ring shaped magnetic material multilayer, which ensures high repeatability and low switching energy. This GMR structure, however, is difficult to pattern as it contains materials such as Ni, Fe, Co, and Cu, which are difficult to dry etch because they lack volatile etch products. This work shows that it is possible to overcome the difficulties associated with etching GMR materials by using hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) as an etch mask. We have used HSQ in a direct-write electron-beam lithography system with a dose of 600 μC/cm2, and in a Ga+ ion focused ion beam (FIB) system with a dose of 12 μC/cm2. Both are followed by development and an argon plasma etch at 10mTorr and 100W RIE power. The HSQ layer provides high resolution as well as good etching resistance. Electron-beam exposed HSQ shows a 1:1.5 selectivity over the GMR film stack and the FIB exposed HSQ showed an improved etch selectivity of 1:1. Ring shaped GMR structures with a 75/225 nm (ID/OD) have been fabricated, which corresponds to a memory density of 4Gb/in2.