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Cherry Updates MX Switch Lifetime, Introduces New VIOLA Mechanical Switch

When we were invited to meet Cherry at CES 2020, we expected more news on the >100 million actuation rating for their popular MX switches. CORSAIR had broken the news, in a manner of speaking, when they used the new MX Brown and MX Speed (Silver) switches in their new K95 RGB Platinum XT keyboard, and Cherry confirmed to us that all currently produced MX Red, Brown, Black, and Speed (Silver) switches are now rated to this higher count (from 50 million before) with no loss in quality. This improvement comes in the form of an increased gliding surface area on the front side of the switch stem, in addition to having eight guide rails inside for added stability, which Cherry calls "Hyperglide". The company claims to also have optimized the contact force for the gold cross-point contacts, which has now resulted in a reduced debounce rate of under 1 ms. They are working on having similar improvements done to their remaining MX switches, including the MX Blue.

What was unexpected, however, was them announcing a whole new mechanical switch series under the VIOLA name. Cherry is targeting the value-oriented keyboard market here (think well under $100) which tend to use adapted membrane switches to provide a tactile and clicky feedback under various names including mem-chanical, mechanical-like, and so on. The new VIOLA switch, which currently has a single linear switch member, is fully mechanical and uses a novel contact method that allows Cherry to get away with a lower price point. Read past the break for more on this.
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