By Julia Karow
Illumina said this week that China's BGI has purchased 128 of the company's new HiSeq 2000 sequencing systems, the firm's largest single order for sequencers to date.
Most of the units will be housed at BGI's new genome center in Hong Kong. The instruments will be installed throughout 2010, starting this quarter.
Illumina said it expects to recognize revenue for the systems over the next three years.
"BGI's investment in Illumina's new HiSeq 2000 system is an important step in our effort to develop a premier sequencing facility that serves scientists globally," said Xiuqing Zhang, vice president of BGI, in a statement.
Illumina launched the HiSeq 2000, which promises to generate up to 200 gigabases of sequence data per run, this week (see other story, this issue). Jay Flatley, the company's CEO, said during a presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week that the new installations at BGI will enable the institute to sequence 11,000 human genomes per year.
BGI last month signed a long-term agreement with the China Development Bank that provides it with $1.5 billion over 10 years (see other story, this issue).