Cherry has evolved the mechanical keyboard, only a few short days ago Tesoro stated their intent to make the worlds first mechanical RGB keyboard, this was a large step forward in the mechanical keyboard market but the intended use of Kailh switches left most enthusiasts wanting.
Today Cherry has presented the first MX keyswitch engineered for RGB illumination, in co-operation with Corsair; in the past Cherry MX switches allowed for a standard single colour LED to be fitted, as they had been designed with a notch to allow it to become part of the switch assembly, Tri-Colour LEDS unfortunately have more prongs which meant that they were not easily fitted to MX Switches.
These new switches are designed with a clear housing, which will allow keyboard manufacturers to place surface mount LED's onto the keyboards circuitboard directly, the LED is then able to use the casing as a kind of lense to distribute the light evenly through the switch casing and keycap respectively.
Whilst this marks a step forward for keyboard enthusiasts, there are a few downsides. First the technology will initially be exclusive to Corsair for use in their range of keyboards, Second it will initially be limited to the Cherry Red type of switch and thirdly probably most importantly there is also currently no information about how this might affect cost - though I feel it shouldn't affect the price too much as it is likely the tooling for the actual switches will not need to be changed.
The period of exclusivity is believed to be for one year, although again it is not known if that is going to be a regional or worldwide restriction though one can hope that it is the former.
The technology is due to be debuted at CES 2014 in January so expect to read more as soon as is available.
Auerbach, Germany, December 4, 2013
With its “MX RGB switch,” CHERRY is presenting the next evolutionary stage of its billion-fold proven mechanical keyswitches of the “MX” series. The MX switches with Gold Crosspoint technology have up to this point been appreciated by millions of users due to high precision, the best possible operating feel, and an extremely long service life. Well-known manufacturers of high-quality mechanical keyboards – especially in gaming – use the Cherry MX switches in different variants. Cherry has now enhanced its leading product with RGB technology. Directly mounted on the circuit board, SMD LEDs (SMD = “Surface Mount Devices”) illuminate key symbols in specially designed keycaps using the MX RGB switch in the entire RGB color spectrum – all 16.7 million RGB colors.
With the latest version of the MX switch series, the MX RGB switch, CHERRY has solved several problems at once, as Karl-Heinz Mýller, Product Developer at CHERRY, explains: “The illumination of keyboard symbols – especially in terms of their uniformity of illumination – is a technically highly complex and demanding task. The previous solution with the incorporation of 3 mm LEDs led to unsatisfactory results. With our newly developed MX RGB switch, key symbols can be evenly illuminated not only in the widest variety of brightness levels but also in up to 16.7 million different colors. Our new concept of light conductance was implemented through the use of new materials and several patent-pending technical solutions. This innovative, technical concept was implemented only in conjunction with manufacturing processes and sophisticated tool concepts constantly optimized over many years.
Uniform illumination in the full RGB color spectrum
The latest MX switch variant is optimized for use with SMD LEDs for the full RGB color spectrum as well as monochromatic designs. Using an optimized, transparent case with a scattering surface lens, CHERRY was able to achieve much more even symbol illumination in the key caps compared to previous solutions. Due to the special design of the entire system, all 16.7 million RGB colors can also be displayed in high luminosity for the first time. Through the SMD LEDs mounted directly on the circuit board, cost-effective, fully automated production is enabled.
Maximum precision – especially for gaming applications
The CHERRY MX RGB keyswitches of course enable highly precise and extremely fast key strokes – as the latest development version of the world’s only MX switches with Gold Crosspoint contacts. The keyswitches are designed to meet the highest precision requirements for professional keyboards and meet the specific needs of gamers in particular. In this way special keyboards equipped with N-key rollover – like the CHERRY MX Board 3.0 – can be realized based on conventional MX switches. N-key rollover allows you to simultaneously press several keys without the “ghost key” effect. This is crucial for gaming, as commands are often assigned to certain key combinations. “The new illuminable MX RGB switch naturally opens up completely new areas of application,” explains Dipl.-Ing. Gýnter Vogl, Head of Product Management and Development at Cherry.
Manfred Schöttner, Head of the Computer Input Device Business under the Cherry brand said: “Our RGB switch is the first step in our MX innovation roadmap. With additional, innovative features, we will offer our customers solutions in the area of our mechanical MX switches that go far beyond the features known today. To continue to provide the highest quality standards, we will continue to manufacture our switches in Germany on fully automatic systems.”
Durability without sacrificing quality
The special CHERRY Gold Crosspoint contacts are characterized not only by the low bounce time for high switching frequency, excellent feedback, and particularly high response speed. The use of gold in the contacts also allows optimum contact resistance to be permanently achieved over the entire product life cycle. The self-cleaning contacts are insensitive to dust and dirt. Thanks to the MX technology designed for maximum durability, at least 50 million key strokes / contact switches can be achieved per switch without sacrificing quality.
Different switching characteristics
CHERRY offers the new MX RGB switches in the four familiar versions with different switching characteristics:
Blue switch: Click pressure point, key stroke with tactile and audible contact feedback
Brown switch: Soft pressure point, key stroke with soft tactile contact feedback
Red switch: Without pressure point, linear light actuation – switching function with a defined force of approx. 45 cN without contact feedback
Black switch: Without pressure point, linear actuation – switching function with a defined force of approx. 60 cN without contact feedback
CHERRY and CORSAIR – Partner for an exclusive joint launch of CHERRY MX RGB switches and keyboards in 2014
Innovation and quality driven PC gaming brand Corsair will be bring the world’s first Cherry MX RGB based gaming keyboards to market in an exclusive launch in 2014.
Cherry and Corsair will first debut the Cherry MX RGB on Corsair keyboards at Corsair’s press suite at CES 2014 in January. Members of the press interested in a demonstration at CES may contact Rick Allen at Corsair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, go to
www.cherry.de // www.cherry-professional-gaming.com