Panasonic GX8 has a 20.0MP Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features Venus Engine processor. On the other hand, Nikon 1 AW1 has a 14.0MP 1" (13.2 x 8.8 mm ) sized CMOS sensor and features EXPEED 3A processor.
Panasonic GX8's sensor provides 6MP more than Nikon 1 AW1's sensor, which gives a significant advantage in real life. You can print your images larger or crop more freely.
On the other hand, please keep in mind that Max sensor resolution is not the only determinant of resolving power. Factors such as the optical elements, low pass filter, pixel size and sensor technology also affects the final resolution of the captured image.
Below you can see the GX8 and 1 AW1 sensor size comparison.
As seen above, Panasonic GX8 has a 1.9x Larger sensor area than Nikon 1 AW1. 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.
DxOMark Sensor Scores
Both Panasonic GX8 and Nikon 1 AW1 sensors have been tested by DxoMark. DxoMark scores camera sensors for color depth (DXO Portrait), dynamic range (DXO Landscape) and low-light sensitivity (DXO Sports), and also gives them an overall score. Of the two cameras that we are comparing, GX8 has scored 75, 24 points higher than 1 AW1.