Palm handhelds hit by faulty chips

PDA giant says about 3 percent of its IIIc, IIIxe and Vx handheld computers have a faulty memory chip, but patches are available.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Palm Inc. said a limited number of its Palm IIIc, IIIxe and Vx handheld computers have a faulty memory chip.

Testing indicated that faulty units could damage information such as telephone numbers. Palm (palm) said about 3 percent of its handheld computers contained the faulty 8 megabytes of DRAM.

A software patch is available on the company's Web site to fix the problem in Palm IIIc and Palm Vx products. A software patch for the Palm IIIxe will be available shortly.

Palm said all 2MB and 4MB units were free of the glitch. The company said the components have been removed from the manufacturing supply process.

The company encourages customers who may have faulty models to visit the Palm Web site at www.palm.com/support/dram to determine whether they should run a diagnostic test or install the patch. The test takes 30 minutes, and the software patch can be installed in less than one minute.

Palm shares lost $1.25 to $25.625 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.