This paper discusses various commercial aspects of Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP). It provides an overview of SEMATECH's efforts to improve the manufacturing viability of RTP. Over the past several years SEMATECH, a U.S. Government/Industry consortium, has identified thermal equipment and processing needs relating to semiconductor manufacturing. It has aggressively pursued solutions to these needs through specific equipment projects. These projects include: RTP Installed Base Productivity Improvement, 0.25um RTP Tool Development, and RTP Modeling and Component Technology. Also discussed are several thermal projects which focus on the performance of more traditional tools. A comparison between RTP and a vertical furnace with model based process control and a small batch fast ramp furnace is made. A brief discussion of an RTP gate stack cluster tool project is followed by a review of future thermal processing needs, including 300mm.