This paper presents the second generation LISE-LI of the fibre-optics Low coherence Interferometric Sensor (LISE), recently developed by FOGALE nanotech. Based on the proven concept of partial coherence interferometry, the LISE system works as a comparator of optical group delays. The group delay along the optical axis in the probe interferometer arm containing the object to be measured is compared with the group delay along the optical axis of the reference interferometer arm containing a delay line. The latter consists of a mirror that can be linearly displaced on a translation stage. The light source is a super luminescent diode emitting at near infrared wavelength (typically 1.31 μm) with a spectral bandwidth of a few tens of nm. Thanks to the limited temporal coherence of the source, multiple surfaces of the object can be detected during a single scan of the delay line. Measurement ranges are between a few mm up to 600 mm (optical thickness). The measurement zone can be placed at a working distance of up to several meters away from the instrument's exit. Applications in industry and in research laboratories include thickness measurements of individual optical elements (e.g. lenses), technical multi-layer glasses, glue and varnish layers deposited on various substrates, Si or GaAs wafers, and position measurements of multiple elements of an optical system (e.g. a photographic lens). Compared to the first generation of the system, the absolute accuracy of the second generation system is about ten times better, reaching a level of ±100 nm for thickness measurements over the full measurement range. Following an introductory description of the measurement principle, the first part of the paper focuses on the key elements in the system design, both in hardware and detection algorithm, that ensure the high accuracy level. The second part of the paper presents an experimental validation of the achieved accuracy level. We present results of thickness measurements on distance pieces made of Zerodur®. The measured results demonstrate the absolute accuracy over the measurement range as well as the excellent long-term stability of the system.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.