Current and projected applications of laser micromachining in the semiconductor industry are discussed. A precision laser irradiation system designed for applications in the production of very large scale integrated circuits is described. The equipment incorporates a frequency doubled neodymium in YAG laser, high numerical aperture optics and a precision XY stage. The laser is engineered to produce short pulses reliably in order to simplify control of laser induced thermal effects. Several examples of application of the equipment are described.