Digital intermediate refers to a digital file or files resulting from a scan of a film (usually negative) original that is used for the editing, effects and grading/colour correction. It is the material that is used in DI labs and constitutes the whole film.
As such, it should carry all the useful information that is contained in the OCN to provide both the latitude and sharpness of the original for which scanning at 2K resolution, 10-bit log is usually considered ideal.
It could also apply to material directly recorded from a digital TV camera – from DV through to HD and digital cinematography cameras.
Pank, B., Editor, 1994, The Digital Fact Book, 7th Ed, Quantel, Newbury, UK