In this new post to his blog Chris Jones looks at an option to increase the performance of your PHP/Oracle application even more - converting a REF CURSOR into a piped data set via the PDO_OCI extension.
REF CURSORs are common in Oracle's stored procedural language PL/SQL. They let you pass around a pointer to a set of query results. However in PHP, PDO_OCI doesn't yet allow fetching from them. [...] One workaround, when you can't rewrite the PL/SQL code to do a normal query, is to write a wrapper function that pipes the output.
He includes an example, creating an example myproc() that contains the query to select the last names of all employees in the table. This procedure is put inside of a package so it can be called directly in the SQL statement and the ref cursor can be automatically piped to output.