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 Müller, 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. Günter 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