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April 5, 2022
We have a proposal for you

Updated 7 April: added heading "Is there any difference in performance?" based on frequent questions.

This update has no impact to your Wooting 60HE order, the production, or the delivery. Everything is still according to plan, but we do have a proposal for you.

The goal of this update is to properly inform you, be transparent about a challenge we're facing, and present a proposal. I recommend carefully reading it to the end.

TL;DR
Future productions of the Wooting 60HE will run on a new MCU. We want to give you the option to choose between the current or the new MCU. There is/will be no difference in performance or features until January, 2024.

We don't want to put you in a position where shortly after the delivery of your Wooting 60HE, we release an updated version without your knowledge or choice.

You do not need to take any action, unless you want to opt for the new MCU.

If you opt-in, the new MCU model won't deliver until September 2022. You can opt-in through the Wooting hub, or if you don't have an order, there is now the option on the product page.

IC Shortage

The IC shortage struck a critical part, the MCU. It stands for Microcontroller unit and is the brain of the keyboard. It's a critical component that runs all our firmware and Wooting analog magic.

Even though we have buffer stock and it was available from different parties, going into March it was completely depleted with a delivery date of February 2023.

When we went to third party sellers, they would quote us prices up to 108 USD per piece. This is insane and unacceptable.

We still have MCU stock to fulfill all current productions, but this will impact future productions. It's making it virtually impossible to make keyboards until later 2023.

Obviously, we're not going to wait.

We had started the development of a new MCU, but didn't plan to use it until a future keyboard model. Now, we decided to expedite this development, so we can continue future productions in 2022. After we completed the new MCU development, we do not plan to use the current MCU anymore. This means that all future productions will run on the new MCU.

How does this impact you?

This has no impact to your Wooting 60HE order, the production, or the delivery.

However, we have a proposal for you. We want to give your the option to choose between the current or the new MCU.

We don't want to put you in a position where shortly after the delivery of your Wooting 60HE, we release an updated version without your knowledge or choice.

Why opt for the new MCU?

The new MCU compared to the current MCU is more powerful. That said, the current MCU still meets our requirements and expectations. There is no difference in performance and features for the time being.

We can even guarantee that regardless of the MCU, you can and will enjoy the comparable features and performance up until January 2024. After this date, we expect to exceed the capabilities of the current MCU and can't make the same guarantee anymore.

There will be one notable difference. The new MCU will have more available configuration slots for advanced features such as DKS, Mod-tap, and other potential advanced key configurations we might create. We expect the new MCU to store about twice the amount of slots thanks to its larger temporary memory (SRAM).

Is there any difference in performance?

There is no notable difference in performance. Regardless if you choose for the current or new MCU, when Tachyon mode is enabled, they both meet the same <1ms input latency criteria and provide all the same features.

At best the new MCU is more capable of running (arbitrary) features, such as RGB effects, at the same time with less impact on input consistency (updating input to USB every 1ms without fail for long periods of time). We specifically created Tachyon mode to disable non-essential features (RGB effects), prioritize input, and where-ever necessary optimize to achieve consistent <1ms.

Any further latency improvements/gains below the 1ms, is negligible. There is far more to gain from features such as Rapid Trigger, which reduces latency from key press travel.

The reason we had started development for the new MCU on a future keyboard model is that ARM based architecture microcontrollers are the future. The costs vs. performance, availability, and software development for these microcontrollers is exponential (i.e. growing increasingly faster). In addition, it provides more temporary (SRAM) and programming memory for us to expand the amount of features we can provide. This is an area we expect to hit a hard ceiling with the current MCU and it's already one of the top-tier specifications.

Consequences opting for the new MCU

The new MCU runs an ARM based architecture. This is not yet compatible with our current firmware. We need more time to make the development and go through the required validations tests again before we can go into mass production.

Our goal is to mass produce the new MCU models in July 2022 and expect deliveries to happen in September 2022. But this is not a guarantee. We might stumble upon something unexpected that delays the new MCU development. It is hard to say at this stage of development, but I'm confident in our team and what we can achieve with the expected dates.

Info, Links, and Info

If anything is unclear, you're welcome to reach out to us or comment below. You can also hop on our Discord server to talk with community members in the wooting_60HE channel.

There is also a livestream happening on the 8th of April, 2022 at 15:00 (CEST, Amsterdam local time) on Twitch to answer all your questions.

You can find the Wooting Hub here.

If you want to pre-order, you can hop over to the product page.

I hope you feel sufficiently informed and are able to make a decision for yourself.

Calder Limmen
Co-founder and CEO
Comments
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