On the PHPClasses blog today the question is posed "can .NET make PHP run faster than the official PHP implementation?" (relating to the use of the Phalanger tool to compile PHP down to .NET assemblies.
Recently Phalanger 3.0 was released introducing numerous improvements in terms of compatibility with the PHP 5.3, interoperability with .NET platform implementations including Mono on Linux, and probably most importantly performance improvements. [...] What motivated this article was that a PHP developer named Rasmus Schultz went on the php.internals mailing list and proposed to switch the official PHP implementation based on Zend for another based on Phalanger.
The post includes some benchmarking results of requests made to a WordPress instance running on various PHP platforms. The Phalanger version came in around 2 seconds faster (average, obviously) than the PHP FastCGI setup. Also included are two suggestions for future PHP versions (v6 anyone?) that could help the language perform even better: Thread-safety for running with less memory waste and the inclusion of a JIT (Just in time compiler - of which a few are mentioned specifically.