United Microelectronics (UMC) used to be a leading water foundry in Taiwan, but has been lagging behind TSMC ever since the 28nm manufacturing process. Its 28nm process technology only accounted for 21% of total wafer sales in the third quarter.
According to a recent post at Digitimes, UMC will move its 14nm FinFET process to volume production in the second quarter of 2017. Its first customer will be Bitcoin mining company BitFury, instead of any mobile chip vendors.
The demand from BitFury won’t be large, but the order itself will enable UMC to move its most advanced process technology to volume production which could pave the way for its new Xiamen fab to foray into 28nm process.