Singleton session beans are session beans that are instantiated once per application and every client request for a singleton bean goes to the same instance. Singleton beans are an implementation of the Singleton Design Pattern as described in the book Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides; published by Addison-Wesley in 1994.
Singleton beans provide the smallest memory footprint of all the session bean types but must be designed as thread-safe. EJB 3.1 provides container-managed concurrency (CMC) to allow developers to implement thread safe singleton beans easily. However singleton beans can also be written using traditional multi-threaded code (bean-managed concurrency or BMC) if CMC does not provide enough flexibility.