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PHP 8.0 to ship with a JIT compiler

The next version of the most popular server side language powering the Web, PHP is scheduled to receive a Just In Time (JIT) compiler in its next major version.

The PHP version 7 already improved performance quite a bit, but the core developers believe there is room to improve. Dmitry Stogov of Zend announced that the once abandoned work on JIT continues:

I'm glad to say that we have started a new JIT for PHP project and hope to deliver some useful results for the next PHP version (probably 8.0).
JIT for PHP project

This is not the first touch PHP and JIT have had. HHVM, an alternative runtime for PHP from Facebook already utilizes JIT and is faster than the official PHP engine in some specific cases. In their initial efforts the PHP development team found that JIT helped tremendously in benchmarks, but not so much in real life PHP applications.

PHP 7 doubled down on other optimizations and it lead to impressive results. Many applications run twice as fast with a fraction of the memory use compared to the previous version (PHP 5.6). For the uninitiated, there was never a PHP 6 as the project was abandoned.

The schedule of the PHP version 8 is completely open. In the meanwhile the environment will receive new features and improvement using the semantic versioning scheme. Next in line is PHP 7.1 in late 2016 with HTTP/2 server push, null return types, class constant visibility support and more.

The news is a welcome sign that the new owner of the Zend company, Rogue Wave, is continuing investment to improve the popular web platform powering popular applications such as WordPress, PHPBB as well as frameworks such as Symfony and Laravel.

Written by Jorgé on Monday October 17, 2016

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