New Focus Inc. has introduced a line of external-cavity diode lasers built to customer-specified wavelengths. The 6000 Vortex series is available in wavelengths from 630 to 1630 nm with tuning ranges from 45 to 100 GHz to cover atomic resonances or optimize the channel transmission. The laser is compact and has a low thermal load, making it a suitable replacement for HeNe lasers. Its narrow linewidth also makes it suitable for applications in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, in metrology and as a channel source in wavelength division multiplexing. Additional applications include environmental monitoring, replacing distributed Bragg reflector lasers and interferometry.