Ion Torrent™

Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™) System

Back to top


The Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) System combines semiconductor sequencing technology with natural biochemistry to directly translate chemical information into digital data, democratizing sequencing and making it accessible to your lab. This established system leverages the exponential improvements in the semiconductor industry (known as Moore’s Law) to provide scalability and flexibility for various applications. The Ion PGM System uses natural sequencing chemistry, which eliminates the need for expensive optics and reduces complex chemistries to measure natural DNA extension. The system leverages direct, real-time sequencing detection, providing sequencing results typically in 3–7 hours.

Affordable sequencing for small genomes and targeted panels
Other sequencing technologies rely on optical systems as bridges between chemical and digital sequence information. These systems typically entail significant additional costs; the elimination of the optical system by the Ion PGM System reduces these costs. With its small benchtop footprint, weight of about 65 lbs (30 kg), low-cost sequencing reagents, and simple touchscreen user interface, the Ion PGM System brings next-generation sequencing to your lab. Coupled with the Torrent Suite Software, the Ion PGM System performs preliminary reference genome alignment and outputs data in BAM format for easy downstream analysis with optional third party analysis tools. It can also provide access to a web portal for data review and sharing.

More information on the Ion Torrent Server >

Ion power: PostLight sequencing produces bits from bases
The sequencing technology underlying the Ion PGM System exploits a well-characterized biochemical process: when a polymerase incorporates a nucleotide into the growing strand of DNA, a hydrogen ion (H+) is released as a byproduct. This hydrogen ion carries a charge which the Ion PGM chip—essentially the world's smallest solid-state pH meter—can detect. As the sequencer floods the chip with one nucleotide after another, any nucleotide added to a DNA template will be detected as a voltage change, and the Ion PGM System will call the base. If a nucleotide is not a match for a particular template, no voltage change will be detected and no base will be called for that template.

Next-generation sequencing on your bench
A principal component of the Ion PGM System is the sequencing chip. This microprocessor chip incorporates an extremely dense array of >1 million micro-machined wells married to our proprietary ion sensor. Each well contains a different DNA template, allowing massively parallel sequencing. The chips can scale in density for specific applications from targeted panels to small genomes.

The right tool to get results easily, reliably, and quickly
Since it detects nucleotide incorporation without the use of light, the Ion PGM System uses the simplest sequencing chemistry possible: natural nucleotides. There is no need for expensive and error-prone modified bases, enzymatic cascades, chemiluminescence, or fluorescence. Direct detection also means the incorporation of each nucleotide is recorded in seconds. As a result, the Ion PGM System runs finish within hours rather than days.

Services and support
Service and support plans—comprehensive plans to maximize instrument performance and ensure availability of critical systems
Qualification services—document and ensure instrument is installed, operating, and performing to manufacturer’s specifications
Training—courses for experimental design, data analysis, troubleshooting, applications, and instrument operation
Bioinformatics—tailored support for NGS informatics execution, software use, data analysis, and downstream applications
DataSafe Solution—storage and back-up strategy, design, hardware, and support for all lab data

For a more simplified next-generation sequencing workflow, see the Ion S5 System.

Learn more about the Ion PGM sequencing chips >

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.


CPU: Dual 6-core 2.66 GHz CPUs
Capacity: 1 chip per run
Chip Compatibility: Ion 314™ Chip v2 BC, Ion 316™ Chip v2 BC, Ion 318™ Chip v2 BC
Current: 6.7 A (max)
Data Outputs: BAM Files, FASTQ Files, SFF Files, VCF Files
Display: Touchscreen User Interface
External Computer: Torrent Server
Frequency: 50⁄60 Hz
High-throughput Compatibility: High-throughput Compatible, Multiplexing
Max. Voltage: 100 V (min) to 240 V (max)
Memory: 48 GB RAM, Eight 2 TB Hard drives in RAID 5
Operating System: Ubuntu 10.04
Output: Ion 314™ Chip v2: Up to 100 Mb, Ion 316™ Chip v2: Up to 1 Gb, Ion 318™ Chip v2: Up to 2 Gb
Product Line: Ion Torrent™, Personal Genome Machine (PGM™)
Read Length: 35–400 bases (average: 200 bases)
Reads Run: Ion 314™ Chip v2: 400-500 thousand, Ion 316™ Chip v2: 2-3 million, Ion 318™ Chip v2: 4-5.5 million
Run Time: Ion 314™ Chip v2: 2.3 to 3.7 hr, Ion 316™ Chip v2: 3.0 to 4.9 hr, Ion 318™ Chip v2: 4.4 to 7.3 hr
Sequencing Scale: 3 Mb to 2 Gb
Technique: Post-Light™ Ion Semiconductor Sequencing
Throughput: Up to 2 Gb per run
For Use With (Equipment): Ion PGM™ System
Dimensions (L x W x H) Exterior: 24 in (61 cm) (W) x 20 in (51 cm) (D) x 21 in (53 cm) (H)
Weight: 65 lbs (30 kg) (Freestanding)

Contents & storage

This system includes the Ion PGM™ Sequencer and the Torrent Server with Torrent Suite Software. A one-year warranty covering parts and labor is included.