Apple's unapologetically selling a new iPad that'll go up to 116 degrees in your hands while playing a game. Maybe they should have done something about that, yeah. But the tablet's new processor is so massive, we shouldn't be surprised.
Chipworks, which compared the new hotness (am I right?) on the right to the first iPad's A4 processor on left, has a pretty striking comparison on its hands:
The Apple A4, which by all accounts is still commercially viable given the price of used Apple products on craigslist, measured in at 53.3 mm². Only two (and a half?) generations later, we have the Apple A5X weighing in at 165 mm² – a whopping 210% larger.
It's worth noting that the A5X is still built using a 45 nm fabrication process—which in human English refers to the size of the tiniest parts each chip is made out of. The smaller the number, the more transistors can be packed onto a processor, which generally translates into a more efficient, cooler chip. Apple didn't make its CPU more sophisticated in order to crank out more retina display-filling power—it just made it humungous. [Chipworks via Cult of Mac]