GTX 780 was a 110 chip the big one. 560sq.mm then 980 got smaller to 398. 1080 298, 2080 -398 again. 3080 was lucky to get 102 because the 103 7680/320 bit was scrapped, and it made sense to carve it out of the defective 102 instead of a fully functional 103, that is a rarity and would have been too weak to compete with 6800 xt. rTx 2070 was the first 106-based 70 tier. So nothing can be set in stone forever.
I view the shifting of a stack in a big way as a manufacturer having to resort to bigger measures to keep its promises afloat.
That's literally what Nvidia has been doing since they implemented RTX. To even sell something that looks like we need it, they need to pass their old boundaries every gen. Its a clear break from the norm of several decades, where you might have the occasional 'step away from norm' because competition, etc. - the norm is now that things escalate further every gen, because die size is at a feasible max with 600~ish mm2, shrinks are not enough, raster performance is basically maxed out per sq/mm of die space, and stronger RT eats away at it directly for Nvidia. They're quickly heading for a brick wall, and I think they know it.
It's just an internal naming scheme. You're trying to spot patterns in something that is changed arbitrarily from generation to generation at Nvidia's whim.
The biggest consumer graphics dies have ranged wildly from 104 to 110 to 200 to 102 over the last decade. The smallest have ranged from 119 to 208 to 117 to 107.
There's simply no precedent for trying to create a rule and apply to GPU die internal codenames. They're constantly in flux and both AMD and Nvidia have proven, quite consistently, that they'll mix and match multiple dies to single products on a whim, whilst often doing something differently to the previous generation. The only pattern that really holds any truth is that lower last numbers are bigger dies within each generation.
This classification corresponding with a performance tier is entirely arbitrary and barely conforms to any pattern because within a couple of generations the tentative pattern is broken.
Numbers might change, but the stack order doesn't. And the stack order relates to chip SKUs. The 104, for example, was for a long time the second biggest chip, and generally populated the x70/x80 slots, and only one other chip was above it. Now there's a 103 slotted in between, so what this reads as, is that the performance delta across the whole stack has expanded a bit. The same thing happened when Nvidia added Titan to Kepler. We just got a new performance level, above the 104. At the same time, the 104 was clearly not all Kepler gave; they sold a dual chip 690 with two 104's inside as well. The gist: 104 was never truly the top of an Nvidia card stack. Ever.
When Pascal released they also started off with maxed out 104's - not much changed at all since Kepler or Maxwell. The 1080ti came later, to succeed the 980ti, and both were cut down 'Titans', another 'rule' that existed since the Titan got pushed to 780s.
This principle still holds true, and you can literally see Nvidia's struggle when they tried to position ADA. The immense gap from the 102 to 103 is annoying. That's why they had trouble selling an even worse
than 103 chip as an x80, but in fact, that's what they really do strive to do: 104 = x80. Its called x70ti now, but its clear Nvidia miscalculated here. And they still do, given the price points.
I consider Samsung 8nm an odd one out because its very clear now those chips/node were pretty crappy. The foundry basically forced the reality on Nvidia there, you can bet your ass they really didn't plan on pushing x80 on 102 there with an abysmal 1700mhz clock and still horrible perf/w. The 3090/ti story is of similar ridiculousness, ti barely has a right to exist.
The waters do become very muddy when you go below the 106's, but at and above that, there is a pattern and its pretty clear.