The initial motivation for the development of Ion Beam Sputtering (IBS) processes was the need for optical coatings with extremely low optical scatter losses for laser gyros. Especially, backscattering of the gyro-mirrors couples the directional modes in the ring resonator leading to the lock in effect which limits the sensitivity of the gyro. Accordingly, the first patent on IBS was approved for an aircraft company (Litton) in 1978. In the course of the rapid development of the IBS-concept during the last two decades, an extremely high optical quality could be achieved for laser coatings in the VIS- and NIR-spectral region. For example, high reflecting coatings with total optical losses below 1 ppm were demonstrated for specific precision measurement applications with the Nd:YAG-laser operating at 1.064 μm. Even though the high quality level of IBS-coatings had been confirmed in many applications, the process has not found its way into the production environment of most optical companies. Major restrictions are the relatively low rate of the deposition process and the poor lateral homogeneity of the coatings, which are related to the output characteristics of the currently available ion sources. In the present contribution, the basic principles of IBS will be discussed in the context of the demands of modern laser technology. Besides selected examples for special applications of IBS, aspects will be presented for approaches towards rapid manufacturing of coatings and the production of rugate filters on the basis of IBS-techniques.