Viola replaces rubber domes and hybrid switches, says Cherry

For use in premium-value keyboards, Viola is a high-precision mechanical key switch which has a simple design and a new contact system to replace entry-level technologies such as rubber domes and hybrid solutions, says Cherry.

It is a significantly higher quality alternative in terms of reliability, typing feel and durability, says the company. Other key features include industry-standard key cap mounting, RGB support and hot-swap functionality.

Viola is believed to be the first fully mechanical key switch for keyboards in the value sector. Its technical properties include a patented, self-cleaning V-Shape contact system which establishes an efficient connection between two pads on the circuit board. The minimalist and solderless design means the switch offers hot-swap functionality and can be easily replaced or removed from the keyboard.

The V-Shape contact system also features a distinctive switching characteristic called CrossLinear. This is a two-stage, linear actuation. An actuation force of 45cN is required for the pre-travel of 2mm. After that, the actuation force ramps up to 75cN at the end of the travel distance (4mm) for ergonomic over-travel and fast reset.

The main housing consists of a high-precision CAD part made of plastic polymer. It has a tolerance of less than 0.01mm and a total of eight guide rails to ensure wobble-free and scratch-free operation, says Cherry. The outer part of the housing serves as a mounting bracket for the mechanical keyboard.

The Viola switch is optimised for use with monochrome or RGB-capable SMD LEDs. The compact LEDs can be mounted directly on the circuit board of the keyboard for cost-efficient, fully automated production, advises Cherry. The upper part of the Viola housing is transparent for uniform illumination of the entire key cap, resulting in a bright display of all 16.8 million colours of the RGB spectrum.

Cherry manufactures computer input devices with a focus on office, gaming, industry, security and switches for mechanical keyboards. The company employs approximately 400 people in production plants and corporate branches in Germany, France, UK, China, (Mainland, Hongkong, Taiwan) and the USA. It was founded in 1953.

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