Cherry (keyboards)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cherry GmbH
Corporation
IndustryElectronic switches
Computer hardware
Founded1953
FounderWalter Lorraine Kirsch
Headquarters,
Key people
Rolf Unterberger (CEO), Bernd Wagner (CFO)
Revenue€250 million (2007)
Number of employees
380 (2015)
ParentGENUI Partners
Websitewww.cherry-world.com
www.cherryamericas.com

Cherry GmbH (formerly Cherry Corporation and stylized as CHERRY) is a German computer peripheral-device maker. The company has its roots in the United States and is headquartered in Germany.[1][2] It has additional offices in the United States, France, and China.[2] They manufactured a large range of products including sensors, vibrators and automotive modules until 1976, when Peter Cherry, the son of Walter L. Cherry, sold his company to ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Cherry was bought by ZF Freihadelibergur AG and renamed to ZF Electronics GmbH, the CHERRY naming was continued only for its computer input devices. Since the beginning of 2016 this product line has been operating independently on the market as the Cherry Group. After an eight-year partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Cherry (the computer input device manufacturer) was sold to GENUI Partners in October 2016.[3]

History[edit]

A keyboard by Cherry
Production facility in Bayreuth

Cherry was founded by Walter Cherry in 1953 in the basement of a restaurant in Highland Park, Illinois, USA. With the passing of its founder, his son Peter took over the ownership of the organization. The company's headquarters were moved to Auerbach in der Oberpfalz, Germany in 1979. Cherry has manufactured keyboards since 1973,[1] and claims to be the oldest keyboard manufacturer still in business.[4]

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

In 2019, the company attracted controversy when it offered a giveaway that excluded female gamers, resulting in a boycott by some users in China. The company argued that it would still give prizes to women, amending the giveaway.[5]

Cherry maintains production facilities in Europe (most notably in Bayreuth, Germany), Asia, and the Americas. All of its products are designed and developed at the company's headquarters in Auerbach in der Oberpfalz. It also has offices in the UK, Italy, France, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Australia and other locations, with distributors in most major countries.

Products[edit]

Among Cherry's widely known products are its line of MX and ML key switches, including red, blue, and brown switches, that have been used in industrial electronics and point of sale environments since their inception in the 1980s, and more recently (~2008) by numerous manufacturers of consumer PC keyboards.

According to TechCrunch, Cherry "has long been the de facto standard for mechanical keyboard switches." At CES 2020, the company launches it first "fully mechanical switch" intended for the "value market," or lower cost keyboards.[6] Three years, the company announced an update of its "classic" G80-3000 keyboard, with a noise reduction. The Verge said that the new version "fixed a fatal flaw" with the company's mechanical keyboards - their clicking keyboard noises.[7]

Currently, Cherry makes the following products:

Cherry MX switches in consumer keyboards[edit]

Cherry MX Blue switches in an opened mechanical keyboard
Cherry MX switches—Cherry MX Blue closed (left) and Cherry MX Brown, opened (right)
Akwox Cherry MX 9 switch sample board

Cherry MX switches were developed and patented in the early 1980s and first marketed around 1985. In the consumer keyboard market, Cherry MX switches are often referenced by the color of the key stem—the part of the switch below the keycap which moves downward when pressed.[8]

Keyboard makers such as Cooler Master, Corsair, and G.Skill use Cherry's Cherry MX switches in their designs or "imitate them," according to PC Mag. Cherry sells its own keyboards in "modest volumes." Its MX 10. TKL keyboard lacks the tenkey section of the keyboard.[9] In 2018, the company introduced mechanical keyboard switches for thinner keyboards.[10] It makes its Cherry MX Silent switches, or Pink switches, as a range on keyboards like the Corsair K70.[11]

Most common Cherry MX switches are:

  • Linear
    • Red
    • Silent Red
    • Speed Silver
    • Nature White
    • Black
    • Silent Black
    • Linear Grey
  • Tactile, non-clicky
    • Brown
    • Clear
    • Tactile Grey
  • Tactile and Clicky
    • Blue
    • White
    • Green

Cherry MX Grey Switches can be found in Linear, Tactile, and Clicky variants. They are distinguished by stem color, with Linear being darker than Tactile. The Clicky version is no longer made. It is debated as to whether it even clicks, since it is not listed as a "click" switch by Cherry in their 1994 "Keymodule MX brochure", along with MX Whites, which are greased to reduce the click.[12] Given their use primarily in large keys like Space Bar, the feel is selected to match that of the other keys on the board.

Other types of Cherry MX switches, such as Green and Grey, are used for larger keys (Space Bar, Shift, Enter, etc.). The feel of Cherry MX green switches are often compared to that of the "buckling spring" switches on original IBM Model M keyboards.[13] Cherry switches have a lifespan of up to 50 million actuations, depending on switch type.[14][unreliable source?]

The auditory and tactile nature of each switch, and the amount of force needed to actuate it, vary depending on the switch type:

Switch type Clicky Tactile Linear Actuation force Tactile force Actuation point Total travel Product code Type
Red No No Yes 0.45 N N/A 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-L1xx Normal
Silent Red No No Yes 0.45 N N/A 1.9 mm 3.7 mm MX3A-L1xx Normal
Speed Silver No No Yes 0.45 N N/A 1.2 mm 3.4 mm MX1A-51xx Normal
Nature White No No Yes 0.55 N N/A 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-41NA Normal
Black No No Yes 0.60 N N/A 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-11xx Normal
Silent Black No No Yes 0.60 N N/A 1.9 mm 3.7 mm MX3A-11xx Normal
Linear Grey No No Yes 0.80 N N/A 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-21xx Larger keys
Brown No Yes No 0.45 N 0.55 N 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-G1xx Normal
Clear No Yes No 0.55 N 0.65 N 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-C1xx Larger keys
Tactile Grey No Yes No 0.80 N 0.80 N 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-D1xx Larger keys
Blue Yes Yes No 0.50 N 0.60 N 2.2 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-E1xx Normal
White / new White Yes Yes No 0.50 N / 0.70 N 0.60 N / 0.80 N 2.0 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-A1xx Normal / Larger keys
Green Yes Yes No 0.70 N 0.80 N 2.2 mm 4.0 mm MX1A-F1xx Larger keys

Awards[edit]

In 2008, Cherry's production facility in Bayreuth received the Bayerischer Qualitätspreis 2008 award.[15] At the end of 2006, Cherry received the Automotive Lean Production Award of the German economy magazine Automobil-Produktion. In 2005, Cherry GmbH in Auerbach received the Industrial Excellence Award as best European industrial facility.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About us". CHERRY Americas. Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  2. ^ a b "Locations". CHERRY Americas. Archived from the original on 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  3. ^ "GENUI Acquires ZF Subsidiary Cherry". ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Archived from the original on 2018-08-29. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
  4. ^ "cherry.de - Über Cherry". Archived from the original on 2010-12-24. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  5. ^ "Chinese gamers threaten keyboard maker Cherry with boycott after storm over giveaway aimed at ‘men only’" SCMP
  6. ^ "Cherry goes downmarket with its new Viola mechanical keyboard switches" TCrunch
  7. ^ "Famed switch manufacturer Cherry is making its own silent mechanical keyboard" The Verge
  8. ^ "Cherry MX". Deskthority wiki. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
  9. ^ "Cherry MX 1.0 TKL Review", PCMag
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "The best gaming and media keyboards, according to Polygon staffers" Polygon
  12. ^ "Cherry MX Click Grey". Deskthority wiki. Retrieved October 22, 2017.
  13. ^ Kowaliski, Cyril (March 7, 2013). "A first look at Cherry's MX green key switches: Eat your heart out, buckling springs". The Tech Report. Retrieved October 22, 2017. 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.
  14. ^ "Cherry MX". Deskthority wiki. October 9, 2017. Retrieved October 22, 2017. Cherry MX is the most popular line of keyswitches used in mechanical computer keyboards.
  15. ^ Bayerischer Qualitätspreis 2008 Archived 2014-04-13 at the Wayback Machine (in German)

External links[edit]