Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Accounting Policies

Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 28, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Accounting Policies [Text Block]
NOTE 2 :

We recognize net product revenue when we satisfy performance obligations as evidenced by the transfer of control of our products or services to customers. Substantially all of our revenue is derived from product sales. In accordance with contract terms, revenue for product sales is recognized at the time of product shipment from our facilities or delivery to the customer location, as determined by the agreed upon shipping terms. Prior to 2018, we deferred product revenue and related costs of sales on sales made to distributors that allowed for price protections or right of return until the distributor sold through the merchandise. We include shipping charges billed to customers in net revenue, and include the related shipping costs in cost of sales.
We measure revenue based on the amount of consideration we expect to be entitled to in exchange for products or services. Variable consideration is estimated and reflected as an adjustment to the transaction price. We determine variable consideration, which consists primarily of various sales price concessions, by estimating the most likely amount of consideration we expect to receive from the customer based on historical analysis of customer purchase volumes. Sales rebates earned by customers are offset against their receivable balances. Rebates earned by customers when they do not have outstanding receivable balances are recorded within other accrued liabilities. The impacts of distributor sales price reductions resulting from price protection agreements are also estimated based on historical analysis of such activity and are reflected as a reduction in net revenue.
We make payments to our customers through cooperative advertising programs for marketing activities for certain of our products. We generally record the payment as a reduction in revenue in the period that the revenue is earned, unless the payment is for a distinct service, which we record as expense when the marketing activities occur. During the second half of 2017, we transitioned customers from previous offerings under the Intel Inside® program to cooperative advertising offerings more tailored to customers and their marketing audiences. These cooperative advertising costs are recorded as a reduction of revenue beginning in the second half of 2017, as we no longer meet the criteria for recording these as expense.
We compute inventory cost on a first-in, first-out basis. Our process and product development life cycle corresponds with substantive engineering milestones. These engineering milestones are regularly and consistently applied in assessing the point at which our activities and associated costs change in nature from R&D to cost of sales, and when cost of sales can be capitalized as inventory.
For a product to be manufactured in high volumes and sold to our customers under our standard warranty, it must meet our rigorous technical quality specifications. This milestone is known as PRQ. We have identified PRQ as the point at which the costs incurred to manufacture our products are included in the valuation of inventory. Prior to PRQ, costs that do not meet the criteria for R&D are included in cost of sales in the period incurred. A single PRQ has previously ranged up to $870 million for our high-volume products.
The valuation of inventory includes determining which fixed production overhead costs can be included in inventory based on the normal capacity of our manufacturing and assembly and test facilities. We apply our historical loadings compared to our total available capacity in a statistical model to determine our normal capacity level. If the factory loadings are below the established normal capacity level, a portion of our fixed production overhead costs would not be included in the cost of inventory; instead, it would be recognized as cost of sales in that period. We refer to these costs as excess capacity charges. Excess capacity charges are insignificant in the years presented. Charges in years prior to those presented have ranged up to $1.1 billion taken in connection with the 2009 economic recession.
Inventory is valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value, based upon assumptions about future demand and market conditions. Product-specific facts and circumstances reviewed in the inventory valuation process include a review of our customer base, the stage of the product life cycle, variations in market pricing, and an assessment of selling price in relation to product cost. Lower of cost or net realizable value inventory reserves fluctuate as we ramp new process technologies with costs improving over time due to scale and improved yields. Additionally, inventory valuation is impacted by cyclical changes in market conditions and the associated pricing environment.
The valuation of inventory also requires us to estimate obsolete and excess inventory, as well as inventory that is not of salable quality. We use the demand forecast to develop our short-term manufacturing plans to enable consistency between inventory valuations and build decisions. For certain new products, we have limited historical data when developing these demand forecasts. We compare the estimate of future demand to work in process and finished goods inventory levels to determine the amount, if any, of obsolete or excess inventory. When our demand forecast for specific products is greater than actual demand and we fail to reduce manufacturing output accordingly, we are required to write off inventory.
We compute depreciation using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of assets. We also capitalize interest on borrowings related to eligible capital expenditures. Capitalized interest is added to the cost of qualified assets and depreciated together with that asset cost. We record capital-related government grants earned as a reduction to property, plant and equipment.
We evaluate the period over which we expect to recover the economic value of our property, plant and equipment, considering factors such as the process technology cadence between node transitions, changes in machinery and equipment technology, and re-use of machinery and tools across each generation of process technology. As we make manufacturing process conversions and other factory planning decisions, we use assumptions involving the use of management judgments regarding the remaining useful lives of assets, primarily process-specific semiconductor manufacturing tools and building improvements. When we determine that the useful lives of assets are shorter or longer than we had originally estimated, we adjust the rate of depreciation to reflect the assets’ revised useful lives.
Assets are “grouped” and evaluated for impairment at the lowest level of identifiable cash flows. We assess property, plant and equipment for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of the assets or the asset grouping may not be recoverable. Factors that we consider in deciding when to perform an impairment review include significant under-performance of a business or product line in relation to expectations, significant negative industry or economic trends, and significant changes or planned changes in our use of the assets. We measure the recoverability of assets that we will continue to use in our operations by comparing the carrying value of the asset grouping to our estimate of the related total future undiscounted net cash flows arising from the use of that asset grouping. If an asset grouping carrying value is not recoverable through the related undiscounted cash flows, the asset grouping is considered to be impaired. We measure the impairment by comparing the difference between the asset grouping carrying value and its fair value.
When determining fair value, we consider the principal or most advantageous market in which we would transact, as well as assumptions that market participants would use when pricing the asset or liability. Our financial assets are measured and recorded at fair value on a recurring basis, except for equity securities measured using the measurement alternative, equity method investments, cost method loans receivable, grants receivable, and reverse repurchase agreements with original maturities greater than three months. We assess fair value hierarchy levels for our issued debt and fixed-income investment portfolio based on the underlying instrument type.
The three levels of inputs that may be used to measure fair value are:
Level 1. Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. We evaluate security-specific market data when determining whether a market is active.
Level 2. Observable inputs other than Level 1 prices, such as quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities, quoted prices in less active markets, or model-derived valuations. All significant inputs used in our valuations, such as discounted cash flows, are observable or can be derived principally from or corroborated with observable market data for substantially the full term of the assets or liabilities. We use LIBOR-based yield curves, overnight indexed swap curve, currency spot and forward rates, and credit ratings as significant inputs in our valuations. Level 2 inputs also include non-binding market consensus prices, as well as quoted prices that were adjusted for security-specific restrictions. When we use non-binding market consensus prices, we corroborate them with quoted market prices for similar instruments or compare them to output from internally developed pricing models such as discounted cash flow models.
Level 3. Unobservable inputs to the valuation methodology that are significant to the measurement of the fair value of assets or liabilities. We monitor and review the inputs and results of these valuation models to help ensure the fair value measurements are reasonable and consistent with market experience in similar asset classes. Level 3 inputs also include non-binding market consensus prices or non-binding broker quotes that we were unable to corroborate with observable market data.
We consider all highly liquid debt investments with original maturities from the date of purchase of three months or less as cash equivalents. Cash equivalents can include investments such as corporate debt, financial institution instruments, government debt, and reverse repurchase agreements.
Marketable debt investments are generally designated as trading assets when a market risk is economically hedged at inception with a related derivative instrument, or when the marketable debt investment itself is used to economically hedge currency exchange rate risk from remeasurement. Investments designated as trading assets are reported at fair value. Gains or losses on these investments arising from changes in fair value due to interest rate and currency market fluctuations and credit market volatility, largely offset by losses or gains on the related derivative instruments and balance sheet remeasurement, are recorded in interest and other, net.
Marketable debt investments are considered available-for-sale investments when the interest rate and foreign currency risks are not hedged at the inception of the investment or when our criteria for designation as trading assets are not met. Available-for-sale debt investments with original maturities of approximately three months or less from the date of purchase are classified within cash and cash equivalents. Available-for-sale debt investments with original maturities at the date of purchase greater than approximately three months and remaining maturities of less than one year are classified as short-term investments. Available-for-sale debt investments with remaining maturities beyond one year are classified as other long-term investments. Available-for-sale debt investments are reported at fair value, with unrealized gains or losses, net of tax, recorded in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss). We determine the cost of the investment sold based on an average cost basis at the individual security level, and record the interest income and realized gains or losses on the sale of these investments in interest and other, net.
Our available-for-sale debt investments are subject to periodic impairment reviews. For these investments, we consider whether it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the investment before recovery of its amortized cost basis, or whether recovery of the entire amortized cost basis of the investment is unlikely because a credit loss exists. When we do not expect to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the investment, we separate other-than-temporary impairments into amounts representing credit losses, which are recognized in interest and other, net, and amounts not related to credit losses, which are recognized in other comprehensive income (loss).
We regularly invest in equity securities of public and private companies to promote business and strategic objectives. Equity investments are measured and recorded as follows:
Marketable equity securities are equity securities with RDFV that are measured and recorded at fair value on a recurring basis with changes in fair value, whether realized or unrealized, recorded through the income statement. Prior to 2018, these securities were classified as available-for-sale securities and measured and recorded at fair value with unrealized changes in fair value recorded through other comprehensive income.
Non-marketable equity securities are equity securities without RDFV that are measured and recorded using a measurement alternative that measures the securities at cost minus impairment, if any, plus or minus changes resulting from qualifying observable price changes. Prior to fiscal 2018, these securities were accounted for using the cost method of accounting, measured at cost less other-than-temporary impairment.
Equity method investments are equity securities in investees we do not control but over which we have the ability to exercise significant influence. Equity method investments are measured at cost minus impairment, if any, plus or minus our share of equity method investee income or loss. Our proportionate share of the income or loss from equity method investments is recognized on a one-quarter lag.
Realized and unrealized gains and losses resulting from changes in fair value or the sale of our equity investments are recorded in gains (losses) on equity investments, net. Prior to 2018, we recorded unrealized gains and losses through other comprehensive income (loss) and realized gains and losses on the sale, exchange, or impairment of these equity investments through gains (losses) on equity investments, net. The carrying value of our non-marketable equity securities is adjusted for qualifying observable price changes resulting from the issuance of similar or identical securities by the same issuer. Determining whether an observed transaction is similar to a security within our portfolio requires judgment based on the rights and preferences of the securities. Recording upward and downward adjustments to the carrying value of our equity securities as a result of observable price changes requires quantitative assessments of the fair value of our securities using various valuation methodologies and involves the use of estimates.
Non-marketable equity securities and equity method investments (collectively referred to as non-marketable equity investments) are also subject to periodic impairment reviews. Our quarterly impairment analysis considers both qualitative and quantitative factors that may have a significant impact on the investee's fair value. Qualitative factors considered include the investee's financial condition and business outlook, industry and sector performance, market for technology, operational and financing cash flow activities, and other relevant events and factors affecting the investee. When indicators of impairment exist, we prepare quantitative assessments of the fair value of our non-marketable equity investments using both the market and income approaches, which require judgment and the use of estimates, including discount rates, investee revenue and costs, and comparable market data of private and public companies, among others.
Non-marketable equity securities are tested for impairment using a qualitative model similar to the model used for goodwill and long-lived assets. Upon determining that an impairment may exist, the security's fair value is calculated and compared to its carrying value and an impairment is recognized immediately if the carrying value exceeds the fair value. Prior to 2018, non-marketable equity securities were tested for impairment using the other-than-temporary impairment model.
Equity method investments are subject to periodic impairment reviews using the other-than-temporary impairment model, which considers the severity and duration of a decline in fair value below cost and our ability and intent to hold the investment for a sufficient period of time to allow for recovery.
Impairments of equity investments are recorded in gains (losses) on equity investments, net.
Our primary objective for holding derivative financial instruments is to manage currency exchange rate risk and interest rate risk, and, to a lesser extent, equity market risk, commodity price risk, and credit risk. We enter into master netting arrangements to mitigate credit risk in derivative transactions by permitting net settlement of transactions with the same counterparty. A master netting arrangement allows counterparties to net settle amounts owed to each other as a result of multiple, separate derivative transactions. We also enter into collateral security arrangements with certain of our counterparties to exchange cash collateral when the net fair value of certain derivative instruments fluctuates from contractually established thresholds. We record the collateral within other current assets and other long-term assets with a corresponding liability. For presentation on our Consolidated Balance Sheets, we do not offset fair value amounts recognized for derivative instruments under master netting arrangements. Our derivative financial instruments are presented at fair value on a gross basis and are included in other current assets, other long-term assets, other accrued liabilities, or other long-term liabilities.
Cash flow hedges use foreign currency contracts, such as currency forwards and currency interest rate swaps, to hedge exposures for the following items:
variability in the U.S.-dollar equivalent of non-U.S.-dollar-denominated cash flows associated with our forecasted operating and capital purchases spending; and
coupon and principal payments for our non-U.S.-dollar-denominated indebtedness.
The after-tax gains or losses from the effective portion of a cash flow hedge is reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) and reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods in which the hedged transaction affects earnings, and in the same line item on the Consolidated Statements of Income as the impact of the hedge transaction. For foreign currency contracts hedging our capital purchases, forward points are excluded from the hedge effectiveness assessment, and are recognized in earnings in interest and other, net. If the cash flow hedge transactions become improbable, the corresponding amounts deferred in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) would be immediately reclassified to interest and other, net. These derivatives are classified in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows in the same section as the underlying item.
Fair value hedges use interest rate contracts, such as interest rate swaps, to hedge against changes in the fair value on certain of our fixed-rate indebtedness attributable to changes in the benchmark interest rate. The gains or losses on these hedges, as well as the offsetting losses or gains related to the changes in the fair value of the underlying hedged item attributable to the hedged risk, are recognized in earnings in the current period, primarily in interest and other, net. These derivatives are classified in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows in the same section as the underlying item, primarily within cash flows from financing activities.
Non-designated hedges use foreign currency contracts to economically hedge the functional currency equivalent cash flows of recognized monetary assets and liabilities, non-U.S.-dollar-denominated debt instruments classified as trading assets, and non-U.S.-dollar-denominated loans receivables recognized at fair value. We also use interest rate contracts to hedge interest rate risk related to our U.S.-dollar-denominated fixed-rate debt instruments classified as trading assets.
The change in fair value of these derivatives is recorded through earnings in the line item on the Consolidated Statements of Income to which the derivatives most closely relate, primarily in interest and other, net. Changes in the fair value of the underlying assets and liabilities associated with the hedged risk are generally offset by the changes in the fair value of the related derivatives.
We elect the fair value option when the interest rate or foreign currency exchange rate risk is economically hedged at the inception of the loan with a related derivative instrument. When the fair value option is not elected, the loans are carried at amortized cost. We measure interest income for all loans receivable using the interest method, which is based on the effective yield of the loans rather than the stated coupon rate. We classify our loans within other current and long-term assets.
Financial instruments that potentially subject us to concentrations of credit risk consist principally of investments in debt instruments, derivative financial instruments, loans receivable, reverse repurchase agreements, and trade receivables. We enter into master netting arrangements to mitigate credit risk in derivative transactions by permitting net settlement of transactions with the same counterparty.
We generally place investments with high-credit-quality counterparties and, by policy, we limit the amount of credit exposure to any one counterparty based on our analysis of that counterparty’s relative credit standing. As required per our investment policy, substantially all of our investments in debt instruments and financing receivables are in investment-grade instruments. Credit-rating criteria for derivative instruments are similar to those for other investments. Due to master netting arrangements, the amounts subject to credit risk related to derivative instruments are generally limited to the amounts, if any, by which the counterparty’s obligations exceed our obligations with that counterparty. As of December 28, 2019, our total credit exposure to any single counterparty, excluding money market funds invested in U.S. treasury and U.S. agency securities and reverse repurchase agreements collateralized by treasury and agency securities, did not exceed $800 million. To further reduce credit risk, we obtain and secure available collateral from counterparties against obligations, including securities lending transactions, when we deem it appropriate.
A substantial majority of our trade receivables are derived from sales to OEMs and ODMs. We also have accounts receivable derived from sales to industrial and communications equipment manufacturers in the computing and communications industries. We believe the net accounts receivable balances from our three largest customers (39% as of December 28, 2019) do not represent a significant credit risk, based on cash flow forecasts, balance sheet analysis, and past collection experience. For more information about the customers that represent our accounts receivable balance, see "Note 4: Operating Segments."
We have adopted credit policies and standards intended to accommodate industry growth and inherent risk. We believe credit risks are moderated by the financial stability of our major customers. We assess credit risk through quantitative and qualitative analysis. From this analysis, we establish shipping and credit limits, and determine whether we will seek to use one or more credit support protection devices, such as obtaining a parent guarantee, standby letter of credit, or credit insurance.
We allocate the purchase price paid for assets acquired and liabilities assumed in connection with our acquisitions based on their estimated fair values at the time of acquisition. This allocation involves a number of assumptions, estimates, and judgments in determining the fair value of the following:
intangible assets, including the valuation methodology, estimations of future cash flows, discount rates, market segment growth rates, and our assumed market segment share, as well as the estimated useful life of intangible assets;
deferred tax assets and liabilities, uncertain tax positions, and tax-related valuation allowances, which are initially estimated as of the acquisition date;
inventory; property, plant and equipment; pre-existing liabilities or legal claims; deferred revenue; and contingent consideration, each as may be applicable; and
goodwill as measured as the excess of consideration transferred over the net of the acquisition date fair values of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed.
Our assumptions and estimates are based upon comparable market data and information obtained from our management and the management of the acquired companies. We allocate goodwill to the reporting units of the business that are expected to benefit from the business combination.
We perform an annual impairment assessment of goodwill at the reporting unit level in the fourth quarter of each year, or more frequently if indicators of potential impairment exist. The analysis may include both qualitative and quantitative factors to assess the likelihood of an impairment. The reporting unit’s carrying value used in an impairment test represents the assignment of various assets and liabilities, excluding certain corporate assets and liabilities, such as cash, investments, and debt.
Qualitative factors include industry and market considerations, overall financial performance, and other relevant events and factors affecting the reporting unit. Additionally, as part of this assessment, we may perform a quantitative analysis to support the qualitative factors above by applying sensitivities to assumptions and inputs used in measuring a reporting unit’s fair value.
Our quantitative impairment test considers both the income approach and the market approach to estimate a reporting unit’s fair value. Significant estimates include market segment growth rates, our assumed market segment share, estimated costs, and discount rates based on a reporting unit's weighted average cost of capital.
We test the reasonableness of the inputs and outcomes of our discounted cash flow analysis against available market data. In the current year, the fair value for all of our reporting units substantially exceeds their carrying value, and our annual qualitative assessment did not indicate that a more detailed quantitative analysis was necessary.
We amortize acquisition-related intangible assets that are subject to amortization over their estimated useful life. Acquisition-related in-process R&D assets represent the fair value of incomplete R&D projects that had not reached technological feasibility as of the date of acquisition; initially, these are classified as in-process R&D and are not subject to amortization. Once these R&D projects are completed, the asset balances are transferred from in-process R&D to acquisition-related developed technology and are subject to amortization from this point forward. The asset balances relating to projects that are abandoned after acquisition are impaired and expensed to R&D.
We perform a quarterly review of significant finite-lived identified intangible assets to determine whether facts and circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. These reviews can be affected by various factors, including external factors such as industry and economic trends, and internal factors such as changes in our business strategy and our forecasts for specific product lines.
We use the straight-line amortization method to recognize share-based compensation expense over the service period of the award, net of estimated forfeitures. Upon exercise, cancellation, forfeiture, or expiration of stock options, or upon vesting or forfeiture of RSUs, we eliminate deferred tax assets for options and RSUs with multiple vesting dates for each vesting period on a first-in, first-out basis as if each vesting period were a separate award.
We compute the provision for income taxes using the asset and liability method, under which deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected future tax consequences of temporary differences between the financial reporting and tax bases of assets and liabilities, and for operating losses and tax credit carryforwards. We measure deferred tax assets and liabilities using the currently enacted tax rates that apply to taxable income in effect for the years in which those tax assets are expected to be realized or settled.
We assess the likelihood that we will be able to recover our deferred tax assets. If recovery is not likely, we must increase our provision for taxes by recording a valuation allowance against the deferred tax assets that we estimate will not ultimately be recoverable. We believe that we will ultimately recover the deferred tax assets recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Recovery of a portion of our deferred tax assets is affected by management’s plans with respect to holding or disposing of certain investments; therefore, such changes could also affect our future provision for taxes.
We recognize tax benefits from uncertain tax positions only if (based on the technical merits of the position) it is more likely than not that the tax positions will be sustained on examination by the tax authority. The tax benefits recognized in the financial statements from such positions are measured based on the largest amount that is more than 50% likely to be realized upon ultimate settlement. We recognize interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits within the provision for taxes on the Consolidated Statements of Income.
We recognize the tax impact of including certain foreign earnings in U.S. taxable income as a period cost. We have recognized deferred income taxes for local country income and withholding taxes that could be incurred on distributions of certain non-U.S. earnings or for outside basis differences in our subsidiaries, because we do not plan to indefinitely reinvest such earnings and basis differences. Remittances of non-U.S. earnings are based on estimates and judgments of projected cash flow needs, as well as the working capital and investment requirements of our non-U.S. and U.S. operations. Material changes in our estimates of cash, working capital, and investment needs in various jurisdictions could require repatriation of indefinitely reinvested non-U.S. earnings, which could be subject to applicable non-U.S. income and withholding taxes.
We are subject to loss contingencies, including various legal and regulatory proceedings, asserted and potential claims, liabilities related to repair or replacement of parts in connection with product defects, as well as product warranties and potential asset impairments that arise in the ordinary course of business. An estimated loss from such contingencies is recognized as a charge to income if it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated.