Cherry introduces VIOLA, a new mechanical switch designed for budget keyboards. VIOLA uses a new, self-cleaning V-shaped contact system and thanks to its hot-swap functionality it can be easily removed and replaced. Cherry says VIOLA uses a two-stage, linear actuation. An actuation force of 45 cN is required for the pretravel of 2mm, after that, the actuation ramps up to 75 cN at the end of the travel distance (4mm). The switch also offers RGB LED support. The press release doesn't mention when we can expect the first VIOLA-based keyboards.
CHERRY, the market leader and expert for mechanical switches in keyboards, announces VIOLA, a brand new switch designed specifically for the value market and its needs. Thanks to a simple design, a unique switching characteristic, and a new contact system, VIOLA replaces entry-level technologies such as rubber domes and hybrid solutions. It thus represents a significantly higher quality alternative when it comes to reliability, typing feel and durability. Other key features include industry-standard key cap mounting, RGB support and hot-swap functionality.
Patented V-Shape contact system (* patent pending)
With VIOLA, CHERRY presents the first fully mechanical key switch for keyboards in the value sector, offering price-sensitive customers a complete mechanical solution. The switch has been developed from scratch and is characterised by its unique technical properties: the patented, self-cleaning V-Shape contact system establishes an efficient connection between two pads on the circuit board. Due to its minimalist, solderless design, the switch offers hot-swap functionality and can be easily replaced or removed from the keyboard.
CrossLinear switch characteristic
The V-Shape contact system also features a distinctive switching characteristic: a two-stage, linear actuation that's been defined as "CrossLinear" by CHERRY. An actuation force of 45 cN is required for the pretravel of two millimetres. After that, the actuation force ramps up to 75 cN at the end of the travel distance (four millimetres). The resulting characteristic curve enables CHERRY VIOLA to offer ergonomic overtravel and fast reset. Also, CHERRY specially designed the shifting characteristics to meet the requirements of the target consumers.
High precision housing
The main housing of CHERRY VIOLA consists of a high-precision CAD part made of plastic polymer. With a tolerance of less than 0.01 millimetre and a total of eight guide rails on the inside, this ensures wobble-free and scratch-free operation. The outer part of the housing serves as a mounting bracket for the mechanical keyboard. The new CHERRY VIOLA switch for value keyboards uses an industrial standard stem for worldwide compatibility with commonly used key caps with cross receptacle.
Optimisations for RGB lighting
CHERRY VIOLA is optimised for use with monochrome or RGB-capable SMD LEDs. The compact light-emitting diodes can be mounted directly on the circuit board of the keyboard for cost-efficient, fully automated production. In addition, CHERRY has designed the upper part of the VIOLA housing to be transparent and to guarantee uniform illumination of the entire key cap, resulting in a bright display of all 16.8 million colours of the RGB spectrum.
Development and production in Germany
The German development team at the Auerbach site is responsible for the development and implementation of VIOLA. Like all CHERRY key switches, the CHERRY VIOLA (and all its components) is fully manufactured in Germany. Combined with strict, permanent quality checks this guarantees maximum reliability and precision.