Introduction to NGS

Learn how the technology works and what it can do for you

Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS)

With its unprecedented throughput, scalability, and speed, next-generation sequencing (NGS) enables researchers to study biological systems at a level never before possible.

Today's complex genomic research questions demand a depth of information beyond the capacity of traditional DNA sequencing technologies. Next-generation sequencing has filled that gap and become an everyday research tool to address these questions.

Welcome to NGS

Innovative NGS sample preparation and data analysis options enable a broad range of applications. For example, next-gen sequencing allows you to:

Explore Sequencing Methods

Illumina NGS Methods Guide

All the information you need, from library preparation to sequencer selection to analysis. Select the best tools for your lab.

Access Guide

Using capillary electrophoresis-based Sanger sequencing, the Human Genome Project took over 10 years and cost nearly $3 billion.

Next-generation sequencing, in contrast, makes large-scale whole-genome sequencing accessible and practical for the average researcher.

Sequencing Services

Illumina offers whole-genome sequencing services, with additional services available through our partnerships.

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NGS makes sequence-based gene expression analysis a “digital” alternative to analog techniques. It lets you quantify RNA expression with the breadth of a microarray and the resolution of qPCR.

Microarray gene expression measurement is limited by noise at the low end and signal saturation at the high end. In contrast, next-generation sequencing quantifies discrete, digital sequencing read counts, offering a virtually unlimited dynamic range.

Compare Arrays vs. RNA-Seq

NGS Data Analysis Tools

Our user-friendly tools make NGS data analysis accessible to any researcher, regardless of bioinformatics experience.

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In-Depth NGS Introduction Introduction

In-Depth NGS Introduction

This detailed overview of Illumina sequencing describes the evolution of genomic science, major advances in sequencing technology, key methods, the basics of Illumina sequencing chemistry, and more.

Read Introduction

NGS is highly scalable, allowing you to tune the level of resolution to meet specific experimental needs.

Targeted sequencing allows you to focus your research on particular regions of the genome. Choose whether to do a shallow scan across multiple samples, or sequence at greater depth with fewer samples to find rare variants in a given region.

Targeted NGS vs. qPCR and Sanger Sequencing

Explore the benefits and limitations of each to understand which method you should choose.

View Comparison

Illumina next-generation sequencing utilizes a fundamentally different approach from the classic Sanger chain-termination method. It leverages sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology – tracking the addition of labeled nucleotides as the DNA chain is copied – in a massively parallel fashion.

Next-gen sequencing generates masses of DNA sequence data that's richer and more complete than is imaginable with Sanger sequencing. Illumina sequencing systems can deliver data output ranging from 300 kilobases up to multiple terabases in a single run, depending on instrument type and configuration.

Learn More About SBS

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Recent Illumina next-generation sequencing technology breakthroughs include:

  • 2-channel SBS: This technology enables faster sequencing than the prior version of SBS technology, with the same high data accuracy.
  • Patterned flow cell technology: This option offers an exceptional level of throughput for diverse sequencing applications
  • Up to 6 terabases (Tb): Learn how the NovaSeq 6000 System offers tunable output of up to 6 Tb in ~2 days*.

*This specification is based on a dual flow cell run of S4 flow cells which have not been released; therefore, performance metrics are subject to change.

History of Illumina Sequencing

Find out how Illumina SBS technology originated and evolved over time.

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The resources below offer valuable guidance to researchers who are considering purchasing an NGS system.

Find the Right NGS Platform

Use our interactive platform selection tool to identify the right sequencer for your needs.

Launch Tool

Explore the information below, and get help planning your experiments.

Library Preparation

Innovative, comprehensive NGS library preparation solutions are a key part of the Illumina sequencing workflow.

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