Looking at the changes in the keyboard over the years | CHERRY still dominates?

“DIY old driver series” 22nd period, it is not easy, this time we come to talk about the changes of the keyboard for so many years, from mechanical keyboard to membrane keyboard to replace the mechanical keyboard to e-sports rise mechanical keyboard recovery, Many people will not forget the existence of CHERRY, and even use CHERRY as a sign of a mechanical keyboard. Then we will talk about the changes in the keyboard over the years. It's time to drive, this time Car code scan code on the train, the car does not have a seat, please grab the handrails, good drive.

'PConline Talk'In fact, the development of the keyboard axis for so many years, from the initial mechanical keyboard to the full opening of the film keyboard to the mechanical keyboard and membrane keyboard contention. Such a development process, we have to mention a company - CHERRY , especially on mechanical keyboards, the first image that comes to mind when it comes to mechanical keyboards is CHERRY, I believe I do not know one is such a feeling, but now the mechanical keyboard after so many years of development, is still the CHERRY family dominates ?

The initial keyboard

Since talking to the keyboard would have to talk about the old terrier, the initial out-of-order QWERTY keyboard was originally evolved from a typewriter. In 1874, the typewriter of the American Xiaors & Gordon Company entered the market formally. The typewriters at that time could be described as dominating the hegemony, and the layout of the key positions was also very diverse. The United States had a QWERTY layout, France had an AZERTY layout, Italy's QZERTY layout and Germany had no time. There are QWERTZ layouts. But these Latin languages ​​do not use the 26 well-ordered alphabets (A-Z). Why do they use out-of-order layouts?

Due to the imperfection of the mechanical process at the time, the rebound speed of the character key after hitting was slow. Once the typist hits the key too fast, the phenomenon that the two character keys are twisted together easily occurs. The typist must use the hand. Carefully to restore them separately, which seriously affect the speed of text input.

So people came up with a way to reduce the incidence of twisted keys by using 'out of sequence' characters. It's just that this design will definitely lead to inefficient character input (relative to the typewriter that won't generate a twisted key). This kind of 'out of order' design does not really arrange the positions of the buttons in a random manner, but rather ensures that the layout of the buttons can be easily used in the case that the internal collision probability of the typewriter is not high. After a series of market strategic battle speeds, the final QWERTY The layout of the typewriter has won history.

The keyboard is at Design idea is And typewriter In the same vein, typewriters are now the reference model for the keyboard. Early typewriters used taps that corresponded to different characters, and the corresponding characters in the front section of the lever were then 'struck' to the ink strip and paper for replication. Leaving a mark. Now the keyboard is also used to open the circuit board by tapping, the circuit board generates a variety of specific signals corresponding to the different positions, the computer recognizes the signal and then displays it on the screen through ASCII conversion into Latin characters we can recognize. Our input method then compiles the Latin language characters into various non-Latin language texts. In addition to the compiling stage, the idea of ​​the keyboard's input text is indeed the typewriter's idea.

The emergence of mechanical axis keyboard

The essence of the axis body is a switch. With the development of the inherited circuit and the electronics industry, the input device also needs to be replaced. The idea of ​​the PCB board plus switch is similar to that of the typewriter. Then the keyboard appears. Too long ago, we will not say anything. Let's start chatting with CHERRY.

In the 1970s, when the wave of personal computers arrived, Cherry introduced the keyboard production line in 1967 and built the world's first keyboard factory, ZF Electronics. At the same time, there was Key Tronic, the IBM keyboard manufacturer. (The computer was then basically equal to IBM. Apple was 80's things), Cherry, etc. The keyboards of the 1970s were very clunky and big, and the essence was that the switches were too big (for now, the keyboards were a lot lighter). In the early 1980s, the keyboard switch manufacturers experienced fierce competition. The main remaining is that of Cherry and Alps. Alps, due to its unsatisfactory feel, gradually lost its market share and finally exited the keyboard switch market.

Since then, CHERRY is committed to the production of keyboards and axes.

Before the MX axis of the early axis M5, M7 what will not chat, talk about the MX axis we are familiar with.

1984 MX Black black shaft was born.
In 1987, the MX Blue green shaft was born.
1992 Birth of MX Brown Tea Shaft.
2008 MX Red red shaft was born.
The birth of 2014 MX RGB.
2015 MX Slient Silent Axis Release.
2018 MX Lightweight RGB Axis Appears at 2018CES

The development history of the keyboard

From the start of the 1970s to the present, the keyboards we know have been around for more than 40 years for nearly 50 years. From the 1970s to the 1990s, people at the time could only choose the mechanical axis keyboard and only the mechanical axis keyboard. You can choose. The advantage is longevity and durability, feel good, but the disadvantage is that the price is expensive, but expensive only for ordinary people, after all, a personal computer in the 80's, 20,000 yuan, keyboard 500 yuan, this looks like Isn't it expensive? (I remember that the original Cassidy learning machine still used a mechanical axis.)

In the 1990s, the explosive development of integrated circuits and electronic industries took place. Especially after the millennium, the popularity of personal computers has risen rapidly and prices have risen from high prices. Everyone can have a desktop computer. This time, a thin-film keyboard emerged. The membrane keyboard replaces the previously bulky P mechanical switches with a silicone film, and the digital signal is generated by directly hitting the PCB with a silicone bowl and a metal bowl. The membrane keyboard at the time was low in price, low in assembly difficulty, and low in processing difficulty. In particular, domestic membrane keyboards can even achieve RMB 20 yuan. However, they have a lot of shortcomings: they have a short life span because silicones are prone to ageing. From the beginning to the end, the feel of a thin-film keyboard is not as good as that of a mechanical keyboard, but it cannot withstand it. People are cheap, and after all, the price was the last word. After I contacted the PC, the membrane keyboard had occupied this market. The mechanical keyboard relied on the industrial market and a few high-end gaming markets to survive.

Around 2005, the mechanical keyboard basically passed away from the keyboard market. The Cherry MX production line continued to shrink, but Cherry still kept the production line and did not cut it all off. This was crucial for the recovery of the mechanical keyboard. Before 2006, Cherry The mechanical keyboards and their OEM keyboards are basically sold to enterprises. The customers are mainly concentrated in industry, banking, securities, insurance, medical care, postal services, telecommunications, government, etc. B2C sales to personal retail are very small. It can be said that CHERRY was Miserable.

The transition took place around 2006. Sairui purchased the CHERRY MX switch and made a 6G keyboard to the game market. At that time, it was highly praised by the CS (Counter Strike) players. It was thanks to the CS player that Cherry was introduced. In China, although sales were particularly low due to high prices, various peripheral manufacturers saw the potential of the mechanical keyboard in the gaming market. They cooperated with CHERRY and used the keyboard of the CHERRY MX axis body. About Ducky, Filco, Logitech, Sairui, Razer, Rosewill, i-rocks, Kai Cool, etc.

Especially around the advent of the eSports industry around 2014, the mechanical keyboard completely ushered in the spring. So far, the keyboard has been roughly divided into three camps, a mechanical keyboard, a film keyboard, and a very niche electrostatic capacitance keyboard.

The current mechanical axis dispute

So far, we have seen a lot of axes on the keyboard, and we have a lot of choices. However, with the expiration of the patent protection of CHERRY, the domestic shaft technology continues to improve. At present, domestic shafts are in certain markets. There is also the ability to compete with CHERRY.

However, it is not only limited to copying CHERRY MX shafts, domestically produced shafts have a lot of innovations, and the appearance of BOX shafts, optical axes, and thin and light shafts is indeed a new product made by domestic manufacturers for market considerations: Optical axis Achieving faster response with lower latency, BOX has an independent sound structure to reduce the impact of the opponent's feeling, the thin and light axis features are introduced for office and gaming notebooks.

Omron has always been a major switching company. The axis itself is a small independent switch. In recent years, Logitech has cooperated with Omron's high-end products to use Omron shafts, and Pennefather has recently tasted the fresh Omron axis in a keyboard. Like a tea shaft, it feels right before the tea axis and the red axis when the individual feels. The advantage is that the workmanship is good, the light transmission is even in the center of the axis body and will not leak light.

to sum up

According to the current market, on the keyboard, the company's offices are all basically purchasing membrane keyboards, which is low cost. However, the successful recovery of mechanical keyboards has also made many offices, writing codes, games, and text workers see the advantages of mechanical keyboards, and The keyboard with a single product price of several hundred ones has been recognized for its dual advantages of feel and longevity. We now talk about keyboards that can almost throw away the membrane keyboard (in fact, CHERRY also has a membrane keyboard) and too small public static capacitance, For the keyboard, the continuous development of domestic shafts even forced CHERRY to launch ultra-thin shafts. In terms of market share, CHERRY still controls the mid-to-high end market. Omron shaft products are too small but there are finally high-end products appearing in the market. At the same time, the entry-level market was dominated by domestically-made shafts, and it began to compete with CHERRY in the low-end market to compete for market share.

At present, CHERRY still firmly holds the right to speak in the mechanical keyboard market, but this right to speak is constantly being shaken. With the continuous improvement of the craftsmanship of domestic axes, even innovations like the optical axis continue to emerge. In the future, domestically produced axes It is still unclear whether the ability to fight against CHERRY is known.

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