In case you've missed it, the PHP community has been buzzing about a new set of mysql drivers created especially for PHP - the mysqlnd driver set.
The MySQL native driver for PHP is an additional, alternative way to connect from PHP 6 to the MySQL Server 4.1 or newer. It is a replacement for the libmysql, the MySQL Client Library. From now on you can use ext/mysqli either together with libmysql as you did in the past or with mysqlnd.
Several bloggers have been talking about it, including:the package's page over on the MySQL.com website (including some simple install instructions).