A foreseen boost in the amount to be spent on building out cloud computing platforms by the industry’s largest companies including Apple Inc. (AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is set to fare well for smaller U.S.-based chipmakers.

A team of analysts at RBC Capital led by Amit Daryanani, who regularly track estimates and actuals​ for a group of 18 of the leading cloud giants, suggests cloud capex​ could reach $60 billion in 2017. At the head of the group, Apple is the single biggest spender, accounting for 24% of total cloud capex in 2016, while Google trailed in second with 19% of total spend and Microsoft in third at 17%. (See also: Goldman Invests in Amazon Cloud Rival.)

Chipmakers Exposed to the Fastest Growing Subsegments 

As cloud capex continues to show improving trends, it should present upside for semiconductor businesses, particularly Intel Corp. (INTC), NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and Broadcom Ltd. (AVGO), says RBC. Daryanani notes the chipmakers’ exposure to cloud and hyperscale spending are “probably the fastest growing subsegments within the enterprise businesses of the hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturers.”

In 2016, a 17% growth in cloud capital spending amounted to $52.8 billion. Next year, the total is set to rise another 15%, and then another 17% In 2018, according to RBC’s models and data from FactSet. Daryanani also notes that growth rates having been improving, suggesting that “as of June/September, there appears to be some picking up of growth.” The consensus estimate for 2017 has risen by approximately $4 billion over the past year.

The RBC analyst maintains an outperform rating on shares of Santa Clara, Calif.-based graphic processing unit (GPU) manufacturer NVIDIA, and a sector perform rating on shares of chip leader Intel. (See also: NVIDIA to Gain on Role in Wal-Mart's Cloud Push.)

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