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Recent advances in ultrafast laser technology have led to the generation of light pulses comprising few optical cycles employing different compression techniques. In particular, two techniques have been developed, which allow addressing the issues of high peak power or frequency tunability in a wide spectral range, namely: the hollow-fiber compression technique and the optical parametric amplification. The paper analyzes the general scheme of pulse compression and reports on the most interesting results obtained using the above-mentioned techniques. The combination of spectral broadening in a gas-filled hollow fiber with ultrabroad-band dispersion control, has led to the generation of pulses with duration of /spl sim/5 fs with peak powers up to 0.11 TW. Using optical parametric amplifiers with different configurations sub-15-fs laser pulses have been generated tunable in the visible and in the near-infrared.