Variations are characterized in feature dimensions of an integrated circuit that is to be fabricated in accordance with a design by a process that produces topographical variation in the integrated circuit, the variations in feature dimension being caused by the topographical variations. The process includes lithography or etch. Predicted characteristics are verified to conform to the design, the characteristics including feature dimensions or electrical characteristics. A process is selected for use in fabricating the integrated circuit based on the relative predicted variations. Chip-level features of a design of an integrated circuit are verified for manufacture within focus limitations of a lithographic tool. Whether a design of a level of an integrated circuit can be lithographically imaged in accordance with the design is predicted, and if it cannot be, the design or processing parameters are adjusted so that it can be.