Diamond like carbon coatings have nowadays reached high quality standards and are widely used in various industries. However, steadily increasing demands for advanced surface functionalities in high performance engineering applications require permanent progress in both thin films design and properties and related deposition techniques. Besides the enormous achievements made on amorphous carbon and DLC coatings enormous know-how and expertise has been collected on the new class of carbon-based nanostructured composites. In a fundamental view, these materials are at least two-phase composites, containing a nanocrystalline transition metal carbide and an amorphous carbon phase. Depending on their microstructural design (i.e. volume fractions of the crystalline and amorphous phases, grain size of the carbide phase, nature of the carbon phase, e.g. hydrogenated or non-hydrogenated) these new coating materials exhibit interesting multifunctional properties, making them promising candidates for various applications. Until today, these materials have been considered for and tested in selective technical environments only. In this presentat ... mehrion, major phases and achievements of the development of such materials will be discussed. The latest state-of-the-art and new developments in the field of both DLC and carbon based composite thin films will be addressed, with a focus on wear and friction applications. Fundamental materials science issues as well as thin film design concepts, tribological performances, deposition techniques and scale-up measures will be considered.