Even in a floundering American economy, there's room for hypergrowth if you know where to look. Here are some of the fastest-growing tech stocks of our time:

Company

3-Year Revenue CAGR

3-Year EPS CAGR

Trailing P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

VMware (NYSE: VMW)

82%

129%

73.8

***

Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

73%

109%

33.4

**

GigaMedia (Nasdaq: GIGM)

72%

199%

23.5

*****

Access Integrated Technologies (Nasdaq: AIXD)

101%

N/A

N/A

***

Financial data gleaned from Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Search giant Google hardly needs any overtures. Some of the others could use a few words of introduction, though. Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation GigaMedia builds its rapid-fire success on online gaming ventures in China and Japan. As the Asian middle classes expand, along with increasing online access penetration, the area is becoming a gold mine for growth investors, and GigaMedia is working in a particularly promising sector.

Virtualization trailblazer VMware is starting to become a household name, too. VMware's inclusion in this explosive-growth list goes a long way toward explaining how it belongs in a litany of undervalued stocks despite a nosebleed-inducing P/E ratio. IT managers the world over are falling in love with the concept of running more software on fewer physical machines, which leads to higher efficiency out of the hardware they buy as well as cooler and less power-hungry data centers. And it takes fewer system administrators to run a properly designed network of virtual machines than an equivalent traditional setup.

The dark horse
Let me introduce you to AccessIT, a market leader in digital cinema installations. The company is growing sales like nobody's business, on average doubling each year as theater chains across the country slowly realize the benefits of digital projection and distribution.

You could wait for a truck full of 50-pound film reels -- four or five per copy, per movie -- then spend hours splicing in previews and commercials. In this scenario, dust and scratches are a fact of life. Or you could download your films over a satellite link, insert additional materials by pointing and clicking a bit, and stream the result to any projector in your theater at a moment's notice. It's all in perfect digital quality, and you could host live Super Bowl viewings or concert events on demand.

What would you do? Yeah, I thought so.

AccessIT has installed approximately 3,700 systems so far, and plans to do another 10,000 in the next three years. Major movie studios like Disney (NYSE: DIS) and General Electric's (NYSE: GE) Universal Studios are backing the effort by paying the "virtual print fees" out of their own pockets, making the conversion less expensive for theater owners. Huge-screen specialist IMAX (Nasdaq: IMAX) is already on board with a digital-distribution pact.

And after all that, there's a big world full of drab, celluloid-based cinemas. (First they take Manhattan -- then they take Berlin.) AccessIT's stock is down to around $3 a share today from more than $9 last summer. It's because the company missed on Wall Street's wild guesses, putting a higher premium on rapid growth than on positive GAAP earnings. Trailing operating cash flow is moving closer to the breakeven point at negative $8.5 million in December, versus negative $15 million a year earlier. The growth story is just starting, and earnings will follow in due time.

Your next steps
Except for GigaMedia, these stocks aren't official recommendations in any way. They do make a great place to start digging into ultra-growth stocks, though. Do your Foolish homework and invest accordingly. And don't forget that we have a couple of newsletter services that specialize in this kind of investing.

Further Foolishness:

GigaMedia is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick, Disney is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation, and IMAX is a Rule Breaker. Free 30-day trials are in unlimited digital supply.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure delivers us from temptations every day.