Taiwanese foundry UMC announced it's on track to offer its 14nm FinFET process for volume production in the second quarter of 2014. The first client of the new node will be BitFury, which will use the 14nm FinFET process for the production of its Bitcoin ASIC. Limited volume should leave the fab in Q2 2017, with broader volume expected in Q3 2017.
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.
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.