The International HapMap Consortium recently completed genotyping over 3.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in three major populations, and the results of studying patterns of linkage disequilibrium indicate that characterization of 300,000-500,000 tag SNPs is sufficient to provide good genomic coverage for linkage-disequilibrium-based association studies in many populations. These whole-genome association studies will be used to dissect the genetics of complex diseases and pharmacogenomic drug responses. As such, the development of a cost-effective genotyping platform that can assay hundred of thousands of SNPs across thousands of samples is essential. In this review, we describe the development of a whole-genome genotyping (WGG) assay that enables unconstrained SNP selection and effectively unlimited multiplexing from a single sample preparation. The development of WGG in concert with high-density BeadChips has enabled the creation of three different high-density SNP genotyping BeadChips: the Sentrix Human-1 Genotyping BeadChip containing over 109,000 exon-centric SNPs; the HumanHap300 BeadChip containing over 317,000 tag SNPs, and the HumanHap550 Beadchip containing over 550,000 tag SNPs.