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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation

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U.S. BIS Regulation and the International Standards Group (ISG)

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) is a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain, and endorse standardized benchmarks and tools to evaluate performance and energy efficiency for the newest generation of computing systems. SPEC develops benchmark suites of software tools, such as the SERT standard (which is software) which are created with input from the leaders of global energy-efficiency programs and their stakeholders to accommodate regional requirements and provide result reports for sharing with potential customers. The SERT standard provides a first order of approximation of server efficiency across a broad range of application environments. It is designed to be economical and easier to use by utilizing a comprehensive graphical user interface (GUI) and pre-determined sets of tuning parameters.

The SPEC SERT standard is the primary test method for ISO/IEC 21836:2020 and used by the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program, EU Lot 9 regulation, and Japan Top Runner regulation.

We are pleased to announce that our vigorous discussion with the U.S. Department of Commerce was successful, and the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) changed some of the regulations per our requests. An organization being listed on the U.S. BIS Entity List is no longer a restriction from licensing, obtaining updates, or participating in the development of the SPEC SERT suite within the SPEC International Standards Group (ISG). This is because these activities qualify for the updated U.S. BIS carve-out for standards-related activities as they are implementing, promulgating, or maintaining the ISO/IEC 21836:2020 standard.

SPEC will continue to monitor BIS regulations and look for opportunities to expand the number of benchmarks BIS listed entities can license and help develop in compliance with US BIS law.

BIS listed entities will now be able to:

  1. obtain a SPEC SERT license and updates
  2. be involved in SPEC SERT standards development

A new SPEC SERT license can be obtained via the SPEC office, and updates are available via this process ( Additionally, we are making good progress on inviting new members to the SPEC ISG where we can work together on the next release of the SPEC SERT international standard.