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Resolving Issues Using the C.A.S.E. System

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Question
How do I resolve my technical issues using the C.A.S.E. system?
Answer
If anyone encounters problems, questions, or issues using Microchip Products and Solutions, Microchip Technical Support highly recommends following the C.A.S.E. system approach.
 
C.A.S.E. is a 4-letter acronym which stands for:
 
C - Collect Supporting data.
A - Ask your colleagues or fellow developers.
S - Search on the Internet.
E - Escalate to Microchip Technical Support.
 
C > A > S > E
 
C - Collect Supporting data.
It is essential to collect all supporting data to help you, the developer, understand and troubleshoot the problems encountered.  Supporting data include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Specific Problem Description - problem behavior
  • Fail rate – quantity of pass and fail, frequency of failure
  • Conditions – Voltage, Temperature, Environment, Power
  • Documents – Schematic Diagram, Source Code, PCB Layout, Oscilloscope shots, Logic Analyzer Traces, Sniffer logs, etc.
  • Checking of usual suspects: Power, Clock, Reset.Do they meet Electrical Specifications?
  • Diagnostic steps done to debug the issue.
  • Does failure follow the part or the board? Is this a soldering issue?
  • Development environment (e.g. firmware, compiler, IDE, OS versions, etc.)
Once supporting data are collected, the developer can analyze and think deeply about the problem. Investigate the problem to know the root cause, then, make a resolution or workaround.
 
A - Ask colleagues or fellow developers.
A colleague, a friend or a technical adviser may have encountered/experienced the problem/issue with their previous designs or projects; and they might have found a solution or workaround for it.

S - Search on the Internet.
 
In Microchip Website:
The developer can go to www.microchip.com and search for the Product Page of the related Device/Development Tools and check the Datasheets, Errata Documents, Family Reference Manuals, Application Notes, Demo/Example Codes, User's Guide, Reference Designs, etc. to find possible solution and workaround.
 
In Microchip Forum:
There are Microchip forum communities on the internet where one can search for a solution or workaround and ask questions or for help. Microchip forums are:
  • https://www.microchip.com/forums/
  • https://www.avrfreaks.net/
The good thing about forum communities is that everyone (Developers, Electronic Hobbyist, Applications and Firmware Engineers) who are actively monitoring and contributing to the forum can provide opinion and suggest a solution or workaround.

In Microchip Knowledge Base Articles:
Microchip has stored an online library of information about Microchip Product and Services where developer can find solutions to their problems and questions. Please see:
  • https://microchip.secure.force.com/CustomerCommunity/hottopics

In Microchip Developer Help:
Microchip has a wiki-based website where developer can find help on their projects and design and Training Materials. Please see:
  • http://microchipdeveloper.com/

In Microchip Code Examples:
Also, the developer can search Code Examples in the following links:
  • http://www.embeddedcodesource.com/
  • https://mplabxpress.microchip.com/mplabcloud/example
  • https://www.microchip.com/doclisting/CodeExamplesByFunc.aspx

E- Escalate to Microchip Technical Support.
In the event the above steps (C.A.S.) did not resolve the technical issues or problem, submit a Support Case via the Microchip Technical Support webpage (www.microchip.com/support).
 
To submit a case, please follow the instructions on this article:
  • https://microchip.secure.force.com/microchipknowledge/articles/en_US/FAQ/How-to-submit-a-case
 
Microchip Technical Support is composed of Corporate Application Engineers (CAE) with different fields of expertise. To properly allocate the submitted Support Case and to help the CAE understand and evaluate the technical issue, please make sure to include the Supporting Data/Information gathered from the above steps (C.A.S.).
 
For proper documentation and issue tracking, please submit one Support Case for each specific topic/issue (1 Support Case = 1 Specific Issue).  

 
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