ZF Electronics

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Cherry Corporation
Type Corporation
Industry Computer hardware,
Founded 1950s
Founder(s) Walter Cherry
Headquarters Auerbach i. d. Oberpf., Germany
Revenue 250 Mio. Euro (2007)
Employees 3,100
Website www.cherrycorp.com
www.cherry.de

ZF Electronics GmbH (formerly known as Cherry GmbH) is a German computer peripheral-device maker. The company has its roots in the USA. They also manufacture a large range of products including sensors, input devices and automotive modules. In 2008, Cherry GmbH was bought by ZF Friedrichshafen and as a result was renamed to ZF Electronics GmbH, now a subsidiary of ZF Friedrichshafen. However, they continue to sell products under the Cherry brand and the Cherry logo is still in use.

A keyboard by Cherry
Production facility in Bayreuth

History[edit]

Cherry was founded by Walter Cherry in 1953 in the basement of a Highland Park, Illinois restaurant. With the passing of its founder, his son Peter took over the ownership of the organization. The headquarters of the company were moved to Auerbach in der Oberpfalz, Germany in 1979. Cherry has been manufacturing keyboards since 1967. The company claims to be the oldest keyboard manufacturer in the world that is still in business.[1]

The company maintains production facilities in Europe (most notably in Bayreuth, Germany), Asia as well as the Americas. All products are designed and developed at the company's headquarters in Auerbach in der Oberpfalz. Additional offices can be found in the UK, Italy, France, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Australia and others, with distributors in most major countries.

In 2008, Cherry was bought by ZF Friedrichshafen AG and completely incorporated as the ZF Electronics GmbH Corporate Division. The Cherry brand continues to be used.

Among widely known products of Cherry are its keyboard switches that are used in keyboards made by Cherry itself, Cherry TVS Electronics of India (Now ZF TVS), Maltron, Filco, Razer, CM Storm, Corsair Memory, Das Keyboard and numerous other specialist gaming hardware companies.

Today, ZF Electronics Corporation (formerly Cherry Corporation) has four divisions:

Cherry switches[edit]

Cherry MX switches in an opened mechanical keyboard
Cherry MX switches — Cherry MX Blue closed (left) and Cherry MX Brown, opened (right).

Cherry MX switches were developed and patented in the early 1980s (U.S. Patent 4,467,160). Cherry switches are the most used switches in mechanical keyboards, along with ALPS switches and Buckling spring switches.[citation needed] Cherry introduced their MX line of linear microswitches around 1985. Cherry MX are usually referenced by their color, although Cherry officially does not use color for identification.[2] Most common Cherry MX switches are:

  • Linear
    • Cherry MX Black
    • Cherry MX Red
  • Tactile, non-clicky
    • Cherry MX Brown
    • Cherry MX Clear
  • Tactile and clicky
    • Cherry MX Blue
    • Cherry MX White
    • Cherry MX Green

There are other types of switches like Cherry MX Green and Gray used for larger keys (spacebar, shift, return, etc). Cherry MX green switches were compared with buckling spring switches from the IBM Model M keyboard.[3] Cherry switches have lifespan of up to 50 million actuations depending on switch type.[4] Force needed to actuate the switch can vary depending on the switch type.

Switch type Clicky Tactile Actuation force Product code
Cherry MX Black No No 60 cN MX1A-11xx
Cherry MX Red No No 45 cN MX1A-L1xx
Cherry MX Brown No Yes 45 cN MX1A-G1xx
Cherry MX Clear No Yes 65 cN MX1A-C1xx
Cherry MX Blue Yes Yes 50 cN MX1A-E1xx
Cherry MX White Yes Yes 50 cN / 80 cN MX1A-A1xx
Cherry MX Green Yes Yes 80 cN MX1A-F1xx

Awards[edit]

In 2008 the production facility in Bayreuth received the Bayerischer Qualitätspreis 2008 award.[5] On end of 2006 Cherry received the Automotive Lean Production Award of the German economy magazine Automobil-Produktion. In 2005, the Cherry GmbH in Auerbach was able the claim Industrial Excellence Award as best European industrial facility.

References[edit]

  1. ^ cherry.de - Über Cherry
  2. ^ "Cherry MX". Deskthority wiki. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-09-11. 
  3. ^ Kowaliski, Cyril (2013-03-07). "A first look at Cherry's MX green key switches - Eat your heart out, buckling springs". techreport.com. Retrieved 2014-01-07. "In both feel and specifications, though, the greens are closer to the buckling spring switches of IBM's iconic Model M keyboards. That makes them uniquely appealing to old-school geeks." 
  4. ^ "Cherry MX". deskthority.net. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2014-06-05. "Long life 20–50 million operations (depending on switch variant)" 
  5. ^ Bayerischer Qualitätspreis 2008 (german)

External links[edit]