This paper reports on the status of the PHELIX petawatt laser which is
built at the Gesellschaft fuer Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in close
collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and
the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) in France. First
experiments carried out with the chirped pulse amplification (CPA)
front-end will also be briefly reviewed.