Both Canon SX120 IS and Nikon P100 have 10.0 MP resolution sensors but Canon SX120 IS's sensor is 1/2.5-inch (5.744 x 4.308 mm ) and Nikon P100's sensor is 1/2.3-inch (6.17 x 4.55 mm ).
Since Nikon P100's has a larger sensor area with the same resolution, this means that it also has a larger pixel area hence better light collecting capacity for a given aperture compared to Canon SX120 IS.
Below you can see the SX120 IS and P100 sensor size comparison.
As seen above, Nikon P100 has a 1.1x Larger sensor area than Canon SX120 IS. Larger sensors give photographer more control on the depth of field and blurry background compared to smaller sensor when shot in same focal length and aperture.