We report on the development of a new generation of very high power 980 nm single lateral mode ridge-waveguide quantum-well lasers. An asymmetric-waveguides vertical structure has been optimized for very low internal losses while keeping the vertical mode-size large, thus allowing a low vertical far-field beam angle of less than 19°. Careful optimization of the doping profiles, and epitaxial interfaces optimization for reduced scattering, allowed to obtain internal losses as low as 0.6-0.7 cm-1. Such low losses are necessary to keep the external efficiency high in very long cavities, together with a high internal quantum efficiency. We thus reached our goal of keeping the external efficiency above 70% even for cavity lengths of 4.5 mm. The flared ridge waveguide has been designed to strongly filter higher order lateral modes, and kink-free operation has been obtained up to over 1.5 W output power, with very stable vertical and horizontal beam patterns. High saturation powers above 2 W have also been demonstrated at 25°C, and over 1.5 W at 75°C. Wavelength stabilized chips, by means of a fiber Bragg grating, reached linear fiber powers above 1.0 W with strong suppression of gain-peak lasing at all currents and good power stability.