[citation][nom]Spanky_McMonkey[/nom]Spanky_Deluxe: That is some of the most epic fail math ever. 22nm will accomodate 2.5x as many transistors as 55nm, not 8x. Currently they don't believe that they'll get past 22nm due to quantum effects, so 16nm is a moot point until they tell us otherwise. Even if your horrible math was right, how do you explain the 570x increase with your theoretical 16x the transistors per die size? Quadruple the die size(not realistic, and yields would be horrible) to get 64x, then you still need to somehow wring 9x the performance per transistor of an already mature tech. When pigs fly.[/citation]
It was a very rough calculation and besides which, I was doing it on an area basis. the xx nm refers to the minimum size of features that can be drawn, however its a length. Its like resolution. So if you can fit two times as many of something in width wise and two times as many things in length wise then you can fit a total of 4x as many things in in total.
So, if the length of things you're using is 55nm (apologies my original calculations were actually with 65nm) then going to 22nm could fit 6.25x the amount of stuff in and 16nm could fit 11.8x the amount of stuff into the same space. Of course, if you also increase the layer count proportionately (little unrealistic imo since layers are pretty thick due to all the extra stuff used) then the same volume of a 55nm chip could fit in 15.6x as much processing power with the switch to 22nm or 40.6x as much processing power with a jump to 16nm.
40x could easily become 80x with a doubling of the core frequency, 80x become 320x by making the dies four times as large (or simply having four GPU chips on one board), 320x could become 570x with improvements in design. Yes in some respects transistors are mature tech, however, when you get down to the 16nm level its not quite as "mature" since you have all kinds of quantum problems/advantages to deal with.