Diode Lasers have been used for years in low power density applications. The lack of sufficient beam quality and life time in the range of a few thousand hours limited their applicability severely. However, in the past years the intrinsic beam quality as well as the lifetime was increased significantly. Single bars with beam parameter products around BPP=20 mm*mrad have been demonstrated . Lifetimes of 30.000h (90 %) @100W cw operation are available . Consequently the market increasingly accepts this type of lasers and new application domains are investigated.
In this paper, existing high power diode lasers and new concepts for increasing power by incoherent superposition, wavelength multiplexing and stacking are summarized. As a result, a laser roadmap is derived. The status and perspectives of new direct diode laser applications are reviewed, especially single shot simultaneous processing.