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High-brightness tapered diode lasers emitting at 980 nm with electrically separated straight ridge waveguide and tapered gain-guided sections were fabricated. An output power of more than 14 W was achieved in quasi-continuous wave (QCW) operation. The value of the beam propagation ratio M2 remained below 2 up to a power of 7.7 W if the sections were separately contacted. The vertical beam divergence was 18° (FWHM) only.