Size does matter, at least in some contexts. Read the full article for more details, including a PR spat between IBM and Intel.
For several decades there have been repeated warnings about the impending end of the Moore’s Law pace for chip makers. In response the semiconductor industry has repeatedly found its way around fundamental technical obstacles, inventing techniques that at times seem to defy basic laws of physics.
The chip industry measures its progress by manufacturing standards defined by a width of one of the smallest features of a transistor for each generation. Currently much of the industry is building chips in what is known as 90-nanometer technology. At that scale, about 1,000 transistors would fit in the width of a human hair. Intel began making chips at 65 nanometers in 2005, about nine months before its closest competitors.
Now the company is moving on to the next stage of refinement, defined by a minimum feature size of 45 nanometers. Other researchers have recently reported progress on molecular computing technologies that could reduce the scale even further by the end of the decade.