TeraDiode, a company created as a by-product of an old MIT team, has released a new direct diode laser which it claim is just flat out better than the majority of the industrial-grade lasers on the market. Power in the context of lasers generally equates to size, most heavy duty lasers are way too expensive to maintain and run to be an option for all but the largest companies. To make its laser more accessible and efficient, TeraDiode eschewed the usual bulky chemical laser design for one favoring semiconductors. This doesn't just make the laser smaller and more efficient, it also makes it safer as there are no possible toxic chemicals to keep in check. Even if it's more compact and less expensive, the laser would be useless if it lacked the power to do the things expected from an industrial laser, right? Not a problem, says TeraDiode. The company has made assurances that the laser can not only cut and weld industrial grade metals, but that it may be possible to blow stuff up using it.
TeraDiode already has plans in the works to adapt its laser design to a more military focus. The company says that its laser could be used in a few years to knock out incoming artillery and missiles when mounted on ships, but TeraDiode has even more immediate plans for the laser. The plan is to mount an array of lasers on the back of a fighter jet in order to confuse or even destroy incoming missiles. TeraDiode says that testing of such a device could begin as early as a year from now. However, all of these plans rely on the new laser being as powerful and compact as the company says it is, and, like all claims, only time can tell whether it holds true or not.