While high-powered broad area lasers emitting between 915nm and 975nm are required for pumping Er+ and Yb+ doped dual clad fiber lasers and amplifiers, the single mode 980nm lasers are used for pumping EDFAs. We report on the performance and a systematic reliability assessment of Alfalight’s first generation Al-free multimode laser diodes with 100µm aperture and 2mm cavity length emitting between 950nm and 980nm. Data from 120 devices in five different multi-cell conditions show median life due to wear-out failure to be over 75.5 years. In addition, over 1,307,600 device-hours of accelerated lifetest data at 3A and a 70C heatsink temperature have been accumulated demonstrating 55 FIT (60% confidence level) at a 2W and 25C operation condition. We also present results from a packaged multimode diode laser with wavelength stabilized at 972nm with a spectral FWHM of 0.3nm demonstrating the capability to use such a device for pumping Er+ and Yb+ doped fibers near the more efficient 975nm portion of the absorption spectrum. Advances made in anti-resonant reflective optical waveguide (ARROW) type single mode diode lasers and the advantages over the conventional positive index guided ridge waveguide type lasers will be discussed. Single mode operation of ARROW single mode laser up to 450mW (ex-facet) was achieved. Results from the facet passivation studies showing successful implementation of non-absorbing mirror (NAM) due to quantum well intermixing using Si implantation in Al-free diode lasers will also be discussed. We have demonstrated reliable operation in excess of 5500 hours in index-guided Al-free diode lasers at a constant power of 500mW at a heatsink temperature of 25C.