Cherry AG

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Cherry AG
TypePublic company (Aktiengesellschaft)
FWBC3RY
IndustryElectronic switches
Computer hardware
Founded1953; 69 years ago (1953)
FounderWalter Lorain Cherry
Headquarters,
Germany
Key people
Rolf Unterberger (CEO), Bernd Wagner (CFO)
Revenue€167.5 million (2021)[1]
€27.6 million (2021)[1]
€9.3 million (2021)[1]
Total assets€411 million (2021)[1]
Number of employees
400 (2021)
Websitewww.cherry-world.com
www.cherrymx.de
A 1959 Cherry keyboard switch being pressed
Cherry MX Red sound
Cherry MX Blue sound

Cherry AG (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.[2][3] It has additional offices in the United States, France, and China.[3] They manufactured a large range of products including sensors, vibrators and automotive modules until 2008, when Peter Cherry, the son of Walter L. Cherry, sold his company to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, a German supplier to the automotive industry. Cherry was renamed ZF Electronics GmbH, while the Cherry brand 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.[4] In October 2020, Cherry was acquired by the private equity firm Argand Partners[5] and as of June 2021 is now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as C3RY.[6]

History[edit]

A keyboard by Cherry
Production facility in Bayreuth
Old logo
Old logo

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,[2] and claims to be the oldest keyboard manufacturer still in business.[7]

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.[8]

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.

At CES 2017, 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.[9] According to TechCrunch, Cherry "has long been the de facto standard for mechanical keyboard switches." Three years later, the company launches it first "fully mechanical switch" intended for the "value market," or lower cost keyboards.[10]

Currently, Cherry makes the following products:

Cherry MX [edit]

Cherry MX Blue switches on a keyboard with its keycaps removed.
Cherry MX switches—Cherry MX Blue, assembled (left) and Cherry MX Brown, opened (right)
Akwox Cherry MX 9 switch sample board

Cherry “Mechanical X-Point” technology, Shortened to 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 downwards when pressed.[11]

Keyboard makers such as Cooler Master, Corsair, and G.Skill use Cherry's Cherry MX switches in their designs or "imitate them,"[12] such as Razer's Kailh Green switches in the first Generation Razer Black widow Chroma.[13] Cherry sells its own keyboards in "modest volumes." Its MX 10.0 TKL keyboard lacks the tenkey section of the keyboard.[14] In 2018, the company introduced mechanical keyboard switches for thinner keyboards.[15] It makes its Cherry MX Silent switches, or Pink switches, as a range on keyboards like the Corsair K70.[16]

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 (which provides a smooth, consistent feel sans feedback),[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] Cherry switches have an advertised lifespan of up to 100 million actuations, depending on switch type.[20]

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

Cherry ML [edit]

Cherry ML switch and keycap

Cherry Mechanical Low-profile (ML) switches are available in a tactile variant, with force and operating characteristics similar to that of Cherry MX Brown switches, but with shortened travel. The rated service life of ML switches is 20 million keystrokes, approximately 15 that of the rated MX life.[21] The ML switch was developed to reduce the overall height above the board; while the MX switch stands 15.6 mm (0.61 in) above the board, the ML switch shortens that to 6.9 mm (0.27 in); in addition, the total travel is reduced to 3.0 mm (0.12 in).[22] The nominal actuation point is approximately halfway through the total travel, at 1.5 mm (0.059 in), with 0.45 N and 0.50 N actuation and tactile point forces, respectively.[23][24]

In 2018, Cherry introduced the MX Low Profile switch to supplement the ML switch.[15][25]

Awards[edit]

In 2008, Cherry's production facility in Bayreuth received the Bayerischer Qualitätspreis 2008 award.[26] 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 c d "Annual financial report 2021" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b "About us". CHERRY Americas. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Locations". CHERRY Americas. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  4. ^ "GENUI Acquires ZF Subsidiary Cherry". ZF Friedrichshafen AG. Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Argand Partners Acquires Cherry". PR Newswire. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  6. ^ "Argand Partners' Cherry Completes Successful IPO". PR Newswire. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  7. ^ "cherry.de - Über Cherry". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Chinese gamers threaten keyboard maker Cherry with boycott after storm over giveaway aimed at ‘men only’" SCMP
  9. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (5 January 2017). "Famed switch manufacturer Cherry is making its own silent mechanical keyboard". The Verge.
  10. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (10 January 2020). "Cherry goes downmarket with its new Viola mechanical keyboard switches". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ "Cherry MX". Deskthority wiki. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  12. ^ "The Best Keyboards for 2020". PCMAG. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Best Mechanical Switches for Gaming in 2021". Pro Tech Reviewer. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  14. ^ Sexton, Michael (13 February 2019). "Cherry MX 1.0 TKL Review". PCMag.
  15. ^ a b Lardinois, Frederic (12 January 2018). "Cherry's new low-profile switches may help bring mechanical keyboards to more laptops". TechCrunch.
  16. ^ "The best gaming and media keyboards, according to Polygon staffers". Polygon. 6 March 2020.
  17. ^ "The Comparative Guide to Mechanical Switches". input.club. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Cherry MX Click Grey". Deskthority wiki. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  19. ^ Kowaliski, Cyril (7 March 2013). "A first look at Cherry's MX green key switches: Eat your heart out, buckling springs". The Tech Report. Retrieved 22 October 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.
  20. ^ "Cherry MX Red data sheet" (PDF). Cherry MX Switches. 8 September 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020. Durability: > 100 million actuations
  21. ^ "Our technologies". Cherry AG. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  22. ^ Li, Cory (11 May 2016). "Keyboard Science with Cherry MLs". Cory.li. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  23. ^ "Keymodule ML" (PDF). Cherry AG. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  24. ^ "Keymodule ML" (PDF). Cherry AG. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  25. ^ Colaner, Seth (12 January 2018). "Cherry Joins The Low-Profile Switch Game". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  26. ^ "StMWi: Wirtschaftsministerium Bayern". Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.

External links[edit]