Faster sequencing and data processing

2-channel SBS generates data faster than 4-channel SBS, while maintaining quality and accuracy

2-Channel SBS Technology

All Illumina sequencing systems use our proven sequencing by synthesis (SBS) technology. SBS is the most widely adopted next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, producing more than 90% of global sequencing data.* SBS delivers highly accurate base-by-base sequencing and robust performance across the genome.

Several Illumina instruments use a recent evolution of SBS technology known as 2-channel SBS. This method enables faster data generation with the same high data accuracy as 4-channel SBS.

Sequencing Technology Video
Sequencing Technology Video

See Illumina SBS technology in action.

The 2-channel SBS method requires only 2 images per cycle, instead of 4 (Figure 1). This accelerates sequencing and data processing times, while delivering the same quality and accuracy that sets Illumina systems apart. These advances make 2-channel SBS an affordable solution, enabling NGS to become an everyday tool in laboratories worldwide.

Faster Sequencing and Data Processing Times

Rather than a separate dye for each base, 2-channel SBS uses a mix of dyes. Images are taken of each DNA cluster using red and green wavelength filter bands (Figure 2).

Clusters seen in red or green images are interpreted as C and T bases, respectively. Clusters observed in both red and green images are flagged as A bases (appearing as yellow clusters), while unlabeled clusters are identified as G bases.

Simplified Nucleotide Detection
Illumina NGS Methods Guide

2-Channel SBS Technology Spotlight

Get the details on how 2-channel SBS offers high data accuracy with faster data generation than 4-channel SBS.

Read Technical Note
Advancing Malaria Research with NGS

Researchers use Illumina NGS systems, including a 2-channel instrument, to expose vulnerabilities in a malaria parasite's reproductive mechanisms.

Read Interview

The MiniSeq System leverages 2-channel SBS to offer a small, affordable benchtop sequencer. It supports a wide range of applications, from targeted DNA and RNA sequencing to tumor profiling studies, small RNA discovery, and more.

The NextSeq Series delivers speed and simplicity for everyday genomics, leveraging 2-channel SBS to offer efficient sequencing and data generation. These benchtop sequencers support whole-transcriptome, exome, and targeted resequencing studies.

The NovaSeq 6000 System offers scalable throughput and flexibility for virtually any genome, sequencing method, and scale of project.

Find the Right Sequencing Instrument

Compare our benchtop and production-scale sequencers and find the right system for your needs.

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* Data calculations on file. Illumina, Inc. 2015.