Switching speed is dominated by electron mobility (drift velocity) in transistor gates.
We can improve by shifting to faster materials, such as GaAs, or just by making the gates smaller.
How small can we go: what is the silicon end point ?
Rule of thumb: for a given technology, the product of delay and power consumption of a gate is largely constant, leading to a design trade off.
Units are the Joule: the energy for a logic transition in a gate.
Total consumption = Gate Power + Wiring Power.
Electric charge in the wiring nets is proportional to their capacitance and hence their length and width.
|1: (C) 2008-13, DJ Greaves, University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory.|