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Diode-pumped vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (DP-VECSELs) have generated high average powers with circular diffraction-limited output beams and short pulse operation. In this type of semiconductor laser, which is simple to manufacture, both the beam quality limitations of edge-emitting diode lasers and the power restrictions of electrically pumped surface-emitting lasers are overcome. It also does not require wavelength stabilization of the pump source, compared to solid-state laser systems. The laser mode area on the chip can be ∼104 times larger than the one on the facet of an edge-emitting laser, offering scope for the generation of high average power and large pulse energy. The relatively small gain saturation fluence of quantum-well lasers implies that they can be passively mode-locked at repetition rates of several gigahertz with no tendency to Q-switching. Here we show a breakthrough to the femtosecond level for quantum-well VCSEL systems with high output power directly at the output of the laser. We also show a simple technology method to obtain fast recovery QW absorber in the picosecond scale with low non-saturable losses.