The news from AGBT this year seemed a little tame (more on that in a future post), but there was one statement that really caught my eye. Ion Torrent said that researchers can expect a 10x improvement in sequencing output from the PGM every 6 months through the release of new chips (like the recent update from the 314 to the 316 chip). That's a fairly extraordinary claim. If true, it means that by next year's AGBT meeting their machine will be producing 10GB per run and that by AGBT 2013 they'll be producing 1TB per run (Illumina's current internal output on the most juiced up HiSeq2000).
Jay Flatley recently recounted Illumina's tremendous pace, going from 1GB per run to over 1TB per run in 4 years. If Ion Torrent is able to deliver on their claim, they would make up the same ground in just 18 months. It will be interesting to see if they can continue improving the PGM at this pace for an extended period of time.