This also means that sometime in the near-future, UMC will be able to kick off 28nm production at its Xiamen fab to satisfy just-in-time demand from China's local IC design firms. At the moment, UMC isn't able to make 28nm chips in China because the Taiwanese government prohibits foundries to make chips on their most advanced process technologies at their China fabs.
China's goal of raising its self-sufficiency rate for ICs, as well as government incentives building up the capability of China's local fabless firms and system vendors, have encouraged Taiwan-based foundries led by TSMC to set up 12-inch lines locally and better compete with their China-based peers.Source: DigiTimes
UMC's Xiamen fab dubbed 12X will enter volume production for 40/55nm chips later in the fourth quarter of 2016, the company said at a recent investors meeting. The foundry also disclosed its 28nm process technology accounted for 21% of total wafer sales in the third quarter.