NEC achieves world record in x86-based JVM performance

Tokyo (Japan) – Yesterday, NEC reported a world record Java Virtual Machine (JVM) benchmark score of 2,150,260 SPECjbb2005 bops, which equates to a value of 134,391 per JVM — beating the previous 16-socket server score by 40%.

Powered by sixteen Intel X7460 Xeon CPUs (96 cores) and Intel’s high-speed interconnect (HSI), the tests were conducted in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 using Oracle JRocket 6. The servers are NEC’s Express5800/A1160, a type of 4-box scalable building block used for growing systems in enterprise environments. The machines as configured in this test will be available in May.

Each Xeon X7460 CPU has six cores and operates at 2.66 GHz with a 16 MB L3 cache shared amongst all cores. The server had 256 GB of memory supporting 16 separate JVMs. In all, 96 threads were supported (one per core). Note that HyperThreading was not used.

According to NEC:

1) SPECjbb (Java Server Benchmark) developed by the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation, is a benchmark for evaluating the performance of server side Java. SPECjbb2005 evaluates the performance of server side Java by emulating a three-tier client/server system.

2) Source: The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation
The competitive benchmark results stated in this press release reflect results published on as of February 25, 2009. For the latest SPECjbb2005 benchmark results, visit

– NEC, NEC Express 5800/A1160 (16 chips, 96 cores, 96 threads), 2,150,260 SPECjbb2005 bops, 134,391 SPECjbb2005 bops/JVM

– IBM, IBM Power 595 (16 chips, 32cores, 64 threads), 1,530,343 SPECjbb2005 bops, 95,646 SPECjbb2005 bops/JVM

In the past, NEC was an x86-compatible chipmaker, reverse-engineering the original Intel 8088 to create a compatible line of CPUs called NEC V20. The chip ran somewhat faster than Intel’s offering at clock speeds up to 16 MHz. Later versions were extended to include even faster clock rates and support for Intel’s follow-on architectures, including the 80286 (NEC V33), Intel 8251 (NEC V40) microcontroller and an integrated chip comprised of several Intel chips including 8255, 8254, 8259, 8237 and 8042 used to control peripherals (parallel port, timer, PIC, DMA and keyboard, respectively).

NEC is a remarkably pervasive company. In looking at their product lines, there are very few areas of modern IT that NEC does not have a hand in, though they often tend to be not at the consumer-end forefront, but rather the back-end forefront as major suppliers of components and products to enterprise businesses.

NEC employees around 153,000 people and has capital of around 350 billion yen (US3.4 billion) on 4.6 trillion yen annual net sales ($47 billion).

Their “Vision 2017” statement reads, “To be a leading global company leveraging the power of innovation to realize an information society friendly to humans and the earth”.