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Illumina to Double MiSeq Output, Increase Read Length to 2x300 Base Pairs in H2 of 2013

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Illumina said last week that it is planning to double the output of its MiSeq sequencer, to 15 gigabases per run, and to increase read lengths in the second half of next year.

The company revealed the planned improvements during an Illumina workshop at the American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting last week.

Jeremy Preston, Illumina's director of product marketing and sequencing, told In Sequence via email that the output per paired-end run will increase to 15 gigabases, using 25 million DNA clusters, a gain that will be achieved by improving read length to 2x300 base pairs and by increasing the number of DNA clusters that are resolved.

Illumina is currently in the midst of a MiSeq upgrade that ups the instrument's output to around 8 gigabases, using 2x250 base pair reads. Last month, the company said that about 40 percent of customers had upgraded so far, and that some of these were achieving up to 10 gigabases per run (IS 10/29/2012).

Internally, Illumina has already generated a MiSeq run of 22 gigabases, using 26.5 million clusters. In that run, the first read was 450 base pairs long, and the second one 375 base pairs, Preston said. Seventy-one percent of the bases had a quality value greater than Q30.

Illumina presented its roadmap as its competitor, Life Technologies' Ion Torrent, came out with customer data for its Proton sequencer. Proton customers reported last week that using the PI chip, they have generated up to 9 gigabases per run with single reads up to 150 base pairs in length (see other story, this issue).

Life Tech plans to quadruple the output of the Proton with the PII ship, scheduled to be released around March of 2013.