The stringent emissions standards in the late 1990's like NLEV, ULEV and SULEV have led to major modifications in the composition and design of ceramic substrates. These changes have been necessitated to reduce cold start emissions, meet OBD-II requirements, and to ensure 100,000 mile durability requirement in a cost-effective manner. This paper presents the key advances in ceramic substrates which include lower thermal expansion, lighter weight, higher surface area and improved manufacturing process all of which help meet performance requirements. In addition to above benefits, the compressive and tensile strengths of lightweight substrates, as well as their thermal shock resistance, are found to be adequate following the application of high surface area alumina washcoat. The strength properties are crucial for ensuring safe handling of the substrate during coating and canning and for its long term mechanical durability in service.This paper provides the durability data for thin wall substrates with 600/4 and 400/4 square cell structure and compare them with those of standard substrate with 400/6.5 square cell structure.