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The Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents the top U.S. chipmakers, lauded bipartisan approval in the U.S. Congress to boost funds for both the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

We are extremely pleased, said SIA president Brian Toohey. The boosts came as both houses of Congress consider the final version of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill for fiscal 2013.

President Barack Obama has requested $2 billion more for research next year.

Higher funding directly impacts not only our industry but a myriad of sectors that have come to rely on semiconductors for their own advancements and productivity gains, Toohey said.

The Washington, D.C., based trade group with about 60 corporate members, praised the efforts of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) as well as Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Rep. Chakka Fatta (D-Pa,) for the higher spending.

In particular, the SIA said its members, including Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), the No. 1 chipmaker, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), the No. 2 microprocessor developer, and others would benefit from new funds for nanotechnology.

At least $20 million in federal funding has been going to universities for research into this sector in 20 states. In New York, for example, Albany State University has developed the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering that works closely with Intel, International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) and others.

The Semiconductor Research Corp., a joint-venture company, works closely with both federal bodies. A new plan for an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program, is also funded in the appropriation.

The SIA previously reported global chip sales last year were $299.5 billion and projected 2012 sales will top $300 billion for the first time.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index was flat at 397.93 in Monday afternoon trading. It's gained more than 9 percent this year.