Mechanical keyboards are supremely popular in this day and age, with pretty much all of them using one of the many varieties of Cherry MX switches. Today Cherry has something new in store, as it's presenting the Cherry MX RGB switch. It's the first switch specifically designed to take advantage of multicolor LED illumination, as Cherry has applied SMD (Surface Mount Devices) LEDs directly to the circuit board to provide even lighting through the keycaps. This means 16.7 million colors can easily and readily be displayed with the new MX RGB switches, and with no odd illumination on certain keys. Cherry's product developer, Karl-Heinz Müller, explains the new switches thusly:
The illumination of keyboard symbols – especially in terms of their uniformity of illumination – is a technically highly complex and demanding task. The previous solution with the incorporation of 3 mm LEDs led to unsatisfactory results. With our newly developed MX RGB switch, key symbols can be evenly illuminated not only in the widest variety of brightness levels but also in up to 16.7 million different colors. Our new concept of light conductance was implemented through the use of new materials and several patent-pending technical solutions. This innovative, technical concept was implemented only in conjunction with manufacturing processes and sophisticated tool concepts constantly optimized over many years.
Cherry was able to get the even illumination by using a transparent case and a scattering surface lens. It allows for all 16.7 million colors to be displayed at high intensity, so no matter how dark your room is, you won't have an issue. Since the SMD LEDs are directly on the circuit board, production can be fully automated and at a cheaper price, which will hopefully translate to us consumers. The Cherry MX RGB switches will be available in Blue, Black, Red, and Brown varieties, so your favorite switch will soon be able to benefit from the new illumination. Each switch also uses Gold Crosspoint contacts for the utmost precision, as well as high speed, long life, and no dust/dirt build up thanks to their self-cleaning nature.
Corsair, as one of Cherry's partners, will be the first manufacturer to bring the MX RGB switches to market next year. The first products will be shown at CES 2014 in a little over a month, and I imagine those keyboards will be some of the most sought after ones on the market.
Source: Press Release