High power semiconductor laser diodes have found their place in a wide variety of markets such as printing, pumping of solid state lasers, illumination, medical diagnosis, surgery, spectroscopy and material processing. In the past two years, the performance of the commercial available multi-mode semiconductor laser diodes has been elevated to a ultra high power level (continuous wave (CW) power density higher than 15 mW/micrometers -aperture for single emitter devices and 10 mW/micrometers -aperture per cm wide bar for monolithic arrays) as the result of breakthrough in device design, processing and packaging. We present in this paper record setting performance of these ultra high power devices in terms of CW power (> 10.6 W from 100 micrometers aperture, > 180 W from 1 cm wide array) and efficiency (wall plug-in efficiency 59%, differential quantum efficiency 87%). Reliability tests of these ultra high power devices indicates that these devices have equivalent to or better reliability than conventional lower power commercial devices. We will discuss the significance of these devices in enabling new applications and empowering current applications.