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Table: Top Dogs: Where Are They Now?

Science & Technology: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

TABLE: Top Dogs: Where Are They Now?

Heavy spending on R&D often leads to growth and prosperity. But not always.

Take a look at past leaders in BUSINESS WEEK's rankings of R&D per employee

(excluding biotech companies, whose figures are inflated by drug-trial


Company R&D per Employee

XONICS Des Plaines, Ill. 1984: $92,347

Socked by price-cutting, the maker of X-ray gear filed for

Chapter 11 in 1984, making its top spot in the BW rankings

a statistical anomaly. In 1985, it was bought by Allied

Products for less than $5 million in cash and stock.

SOFTWARE PUBLISHING Santa Clara, Calif. 1985: $33,914

The maker of Harvard Graphics presentation software 1991: $78,109

diversified unsuccessfully and lost share to Lotus, Microsoft,

and others. It's refocusing on Harvard Graphics spinoffs

after big losses.

TRANSITRON ELECTRONIC Woburn, Mass. 1986: $66,450

Founded in the 1950s as one of the first high-tech

companies along suburban Boston's Route 128, Transitron

found success transitory. Heavy debts caused by failed

ventures in integrated circuits forced it to dissolve the year

it made No. 1--another statistical anomaly.

CHIPS & TECHNOLOGIES San Jose, Calif. 1987: $48,000

C&T thrived in the 1980s as the first company to

develop 1988: $60,828

a set of chips for personal computer clonemakers. But 1989: $67,373

once others figured out how to clone PC chips, C&T

went 1990: $68,456

into a swoon. It has regained profitability by focusing

on 1992: $86,137

graphics-display chips for laptops.

S3 Santa Clara, Calif. 1993: $80,132

S3 is booming as a creator of multimedia chips for

personal 1994: $82,548

computers. Compaq Computer recently announced it

would use S3's accelerator chips to deliver TV-quality video

on PCs for sale this Christmas.

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