Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Capital

Research and Development

R&D investment is critical for enabling us to deliver a predictable cadence of leadership products and extend our reach to accelerate our growth. Successful R&D efforts can lead to new products and technologies or improvements to existing ones, which we seek to protect through our IP rights. We may augment our R&D initiatives by acquiring or investing in companies, entering into R&D agreements, and directly purchasing or licensing technology.

Areas Key to Product Leadership

Every year we make significant investments in R&D and we have intensified our focus on areas key to product leadership. Our objective is to improve user experiences and value through advances in performance, power, cost, connectivity, security, form factor, and other features with each new generation of products. We are also focused on reducing our design complexity, re-using IP, and increasing ecosystem collaboration to improve our efficiency, including a significant reduction of design rules for future process nodes.

Process and Packaging. We are creating a new wave of compute engines that mix and match different process technologies and then connect them with high-performance, low-power packaging technologies like EMIB1 and Foveros1, the industry's first implementation of stacked processing components. This disaggregated design approach allows us to manufacture different components of a chip on different processes, giving us the flexibility to use the process that best serves our customers. 

  • We launched our Intel Core processors with Intel® Hybrid Technology, also referred to as Lakefield, which use Foveros 3D stacking technology to achieve a dramatic reduction in package area.
  • We introduced our 10nm SuperFin Technology, a redefinition of the FinFET with new SuperMIM capacitors. It enables the largest single intranode enhancement in our history. We are planning further 10nm intranode enhancements.

xPU architecture. The future is a diverse mix of scalar, vector, matrix, and spatial architectures deployed in CPU, GPU, accelerator, and FPGA sockets, enabled by a scalable software stack and integrated into systems by advanced packaging technology. We are building processors that span four major computing architectures, moving toward an era of heterogeneous computing: 

  • CPU. We started shipping our 11th Gen Intel Core processors, with our next-generation Willow Cove CPU microarchitecture, which includes redesigned caching hierarchy and security enhancements, among other features. These processors also include the next generation of Intel Iris Xe graphics architecture with upgraded 3D performance and media engine capabilities.
  • GPU. We launched the Intel Iris Xe MAX GPU for laptops and the first discrete Intel Server GPU. We also powered on our next- generation GPU for client, referred to as DG2.
  • Accelerator. Habana Gaudi accelerators are at the forefront of AI solutions for data centers. Amazon Web Services announced that Habana Gaudi will be used to power future Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances.
  • FPGA. We announced Intel® Stratix® 10 NX and Intel Stratix 10 AX FPGAs, extending our Intel Stratix 10 FPGA family.

Memory. With our Intel® OptaneTM technology, we are developing products to disrupt the memory and storage hierarchy.

  • The Intel Optane DC persistent memory 200 series is available with 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable platforms and will be supported with the Ice Lake server processor. The series is targeted at many workloads, including in-memory AI and analytics, databases, and virtual machine per container density.

Interconnect. We deliver leading technologies that scale across all interconnect layers, spanning on-die, on-package, data center, and long-distance networks. 

  • We have a broad portfolio of data center connectivity products, including Intel® Ethernet, Intel® Silicon Photonics Optical Transceivers, and Intel® TofinoTM P4-programmable Ethernet switch ASICs.
  • The new 11th Gen Intel Core processors introduced integrated ThunderboltTM 4 and USB4. Thunderbolt 4, the next-generation universal cable connectivity solution, delivers increased minimum performance, expanded capabilities, and USB4 specification compliance. Thunderbolt 4 enables docks with up to four Thunderbolt ports and universal cables up to 2 meters in length.

Security. We continue to deliver innovation to the market across foundational security, workload protection, and software reliability. We are working with customers and partners to build a more trusted foundation in a data-centric world. 

  • The new 11th Gen Intel Core processors include both TME and Intel® Control-flow Enforcement Technology (Intel® CET) security capabilities. TME provides the capability to encrypt the entirety of the physical memory of a system, while Intel CET delivers CPU-level security capabilities to help protect against common malware attack methods that have been a challenge to mitigate with software alone.
  • We announced Intel® Trust Domain Extensions (Intel® TDX), which enhance control of data security and IP protection for the cloud tenant while helping maintain the cloud service provider's role of managing resources and cloud-platform integrity.

Software. Software unleashes the potential of our hardware platforms across all workloads, domains, and architectures.

  • We released the oneAPI open industry specification and launched the Gold release of Intel's oneAPI toolkits in support of our xPU roadmap. Our oneAPI toolkits enable developers to build cross-architecture applications using a single-code base across xPUs that take advantage of unique hardware features and lower software and maintenance cost. Developers can choose the best architecture for the problem they are solving without needing to rewrite software for different architectures and platforms.
  • The OpenVINO toolkit brings the full power of our xPU roadmap to the Internet of Things, client, and data center businesses. This complementary production-level toolkit focuses on helping developers deliver high-performance deep learning inference and computer vision across CPU, GPU, and FPGA products.

1 Intel's definition is included in "Key Terms" within the Financial Statements and Supplemental Details.

IP Rights

We own and develop significant IP and related IP rights around the world that support our products, services, R&D, and other activities and assets. Our IP portfolio includes patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, mask work, and other rights. We actively seek to protect our global IP rights and to deter unauthorized use of our IP and other assets. For a detailed discussion of our IP rights, see "Intellectual Property Rights and Licensing" within Other Key Information.

Steve Rodgers

In addition to pledging funds, Intel gave COVID-19 scientists and researchers free access to our vast worldwide intellectual property portfolio this year in the hope and belief that making this intellectual property freely available to them will save lives. We will continue to invent—and protect—our intellectual property, but we offered it freely to those working to protect people from the pandemic.

—Steve Rodgers, Executive Vice President and General Counsel