Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Register | Login | Forum Login

ARCHITECTURE
Design
File Formats
Miscellaneous
Object-Oriented
Optimization
Security
Session
Management
Shopping Carts
Style
Transactions
WAP
DATABASES
Any
Database
Interbase
SQL Server
MySQL
ODBC
Oracle
PostgreSQL
FUNCTIONS
Arrays
Aspell
Date
Directory
File
Flash
GD
IMAP
Java
LDAP
Mail
Mathematics
MCAL
Other
Functions
PDF
Regular
Expressions
String
http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

1/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

WDDX
XML
TOOLS
Editors
/IDEs
PEAR
PHPGTK
Frameworks
CODE
Algorithms
BBS
Discussion
CalendarsDates
Databases
File
Management
Games
Graphics
HTML
HTTP
Math
Functions
Money
Networking
Other
Shopping
Carts
Voting
SLIDESHOWS
TIPS
Application
Architecture
Databases
HTML
News
&
Reviews
PHP
Functions
Setup
&
Installation
Site
Operation
Tricks
&
Hacks
Trick
&
Hack
Articles
NEWS
http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

2/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Application
Architecture
Code
Documentation
Databases
HTML
News
&
Reviews
PEAR
PHP
Functions
PHPGTK
Setup
&
Installation
Site
Operation
Tools
Tricks
&
Hacks
FORUM
CONTRIBUTE

http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

3/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Top White Papers and Webcasts


Use Cases for Level 3: Adaptive Network
Control Solutions

Entire organizations suer when


their networks can't keep up and
new opportunities are put on
hold. Waiting on service
providers isn't good business. In
these examples, learn how to
simplify network management so that your organization
can better manage costs, adapt quickly to business
demands, and seize market opportunities when they
arise.

APM in the Digital Economy

Today, software applications have


become the functional core
supporting digital transformation
in every area of the business.
Modern software development,
deployment, and delivery
techniques are enabling new models for revenue
generation, new roads to mutually benecial
partnerships, and improvements in personalized
customer interaction. This research report discusses the
top challenges encountered by IT organizations as they
adapt to the collective impacts of the consumer
economy, the growth of the public

Articles

PHP and Zend Engine Internals


by: Kaushik Pal

April 28, 2014

Tweet

Like 7

Overview
http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

4/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Version 1.0 of the Zend Engine functions much like the heart and brain of PHP 4.0. It contains the process that
provides the sub-structure and facilities to the functional modules. It also implements the language syntax, as well.
The Zend Engine 1.0 is actually the second revision of the PHP scripting engine. It is still based on the same rules
as the PHP 3.0 engine that was basically Zend Engine 0.5. Now it is permissible to migrate the path from PHP 3.0
to 4.0. The development has the same state of mind as per PHP 3.0. We feel it is right time to start working
towards a revision of the Zend Engine. It would also incorporate new structures and solutions to some of the most
difcult problems faced by the PHP designer or developers.

In this article I will discuss the Zend Engine internals based on the PHP platform.

Introduction
Zend Engine is an open source scripting engine which acts as an interpreter for the PHP programming language.
This was initially developed by two students at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. Zend engine is a
virtual machine or VM. As we know that a Virtual machine is nothing but software which simulates a physical
computer. The Zend engine consists of multiple components e.g. a compiler, ZFMI (Zend Function Module
Interface) and a virtual CPU or an executor.

How Zend Engine Works


A Zend engine consists of three major components:
Lexical analyzer or lexer
Parser
Executor

We know that Zend is a scripting engine and it works as an interpreter. So let us check different phases of a script
which is subjected to a Zend engine. The script passes through the following steps and nally gets executed by
Zend engine:

Step 1: Lexical Analysis - In this step the script is passed through a lexical analyzer, also known as lexer.
Here the script that is human readable is migrated to tokens which are understood and accepted by the machine.
Once the entire script is tokenized, the tokens are passed to the parser.
Step 2: Parsing - In this step, the parser parses the tokens that it received from the lexer and generates an
instruction set which runs on the Zend engine. The Zend engine is nothing but a virtual machine (VM) with an
instruction set, that is similar to assembly language, and executes it. Parser generates the abstract syntax tree that
can be optimized before passing to the code generator. This whole mechanism is jointly called compilation. The
output of the compilation is an intermediate code which is a machine independent code for Zend virtual machine.
This intermediate code contains an array of instruction sets for the Zend Virtual machine, also known as operation
codes or opcodes. These opcodes are three address codes - two operands for the input and one for the output. In
addition to these the opcodes also contain a handler which processes the operands. These opcodes contain
http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

5/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

instructions to perform all sorts of operations ranging from a basic operation on the two inputs and storing the
output onto the third operand to a complex scenario which requires implementing a ow control.
Step 3: Execution - Once the intermediate code is generated, it is passed to the executor which reads each of
the instructions from the array and executes them.

The compilation and execution phases are executed by two separate functions within the Zend engine. These are
Zend_compile and Zend_execute.

Web server Interaction involving Zend engine


The internal architecture of the Zend engine is shown below in the diagram.

Figure 1: Zend engine Architecture

Internal components of Zend Engine


Now let us check the internal components of Zend Engine one by one.

ZMFI or Zend Function Module Interface: This interface acts as a communication channel between the
function modules. Function modules are nothing but PHP extensions that have some modules written and included
within them.

http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

6/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Opcode Cache: Opcode cache is a generic cache which resides within the Zend engine and caches the opcode
of a le. If the le is requested again, it just gets executed from the cache if there is no change in the le.

Some Examples
Let us look at an example to check different phases of a PHP code when it goes through a Zend Engine.

First, we will discuss a simple example as shown below.

Listing 1: Sample PHP le

<?php
$name = 'Ricardo';
echo $name;
?>

The above PHP code when subjected to Zend engine, is converted to the following opcode:

Figure 2: Showing generated opcode

The executor of the Zend engine reads these opcodes one at a time and executes it as per the instruction mentioned
in the opcode. The above code is executed in the following manner:

Opnum 0 or Opcode 0 - In this step, the pointer to the variable - 'name' is assigned the Register 0.
Subsequently we use 'ZEND_FETCH_W' (where w stands for write) and assign it to the variable.
Opnum 1 or Opcode 1- In this step, the ZEND_ASSIGN handler assigns the value - 'Ricardo' to Register 0
which is pointer to the variable - 'name'. Register 1 is also assigned but never used. It could have been utilized if we
had an expression such as:

if ($name == 'Ricardo) { }

http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

7/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Opnum 2 or Opcode 2 - In this step, we re-fetch the value of $name into Register 2. We use the opcode
ZEND_FETCH_R as the variable is used in a read only context.
Opnum 3 or Opcode 3 - In this step, the instruction 'ZEND_ECHO' prints the value of Register 2 by sending
the value to the output buffering system.
Opnum 4 0r Opcode 4 - In this step, the instruction 'ZEND_RETURN' is called which sets the return value of
the script to 1. As we know even if we do not call the explicit return which is true for this case as well, every script
contains an implicit return 1.

Now we will have a look into a slightly more complicated example:

Listing 2: Sample PHP le with conversion to upper case

<?php
$name = 'Ricardo';
echo strtoupper($name);
?>

As we see here this script initializes a variable and then prints the same after converting the text into upper case.
The intermediate code dump for the above PHP script is quite similar to the earlier one.

Figure 3: Showing generated opcode

The opcodes in the above two examples are quite similar except for the following:

Opnum 3 or Opcode 3 - In this step, the instruction 'ZEND_SEND_VAR' pushes a pointer to Register 2
which has the variable - $name into the stack of arguments. This argument stack is designed to be called by the
functions in the order prints the value of Register 2 by sending the value to the output buffering system.
Opnum 4 0r Opcode 4 - In this step, the instruction 'ZEND_DO_FCALL' is called which internally calls the
'strtoupper' function and also mentions that the output should be send to Register 3.
http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

8/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Following diagram shows the work ow direction while a PHP script is passes through the Zend engine.

Figure 4: Showing work ow in Zend engine

About the Author


Kaushik Pal is a technical architect with 15 years of experience in enterprise application and product
development. He has expertise in web technologies, architecture/design, java/j2ee, Open source and big data
technologies. You can nd more of his work at www.techalpine.com and you can email him here.

Comment and Contribute


2 Comments(click to add your comment)
By:sarahmaxwell
Date:7/5/116 2:51
Interesting article thank you Kaushik
Replytothiscomment

By:alex
Date:1/5/115 0:51
Good article.
Replytothiscomment

http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

9/10

12/23/2016

PHPBuilder - PHP and Zend Engine Internals

Name/nickname:
Email:
Comment:

(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.

Type the text


Privacy & Terms

PHPBuilder
Policies
Legal Notices
Licensing
Permissions
Privacy
Policy
Advertise

PHP Developer
Topics

PHP Developer
Resources

Architecture
Databases
HTML/CSS/JavaScript
Functions
Tools

E-mail Offers
Forums
Code Snippet
Library

PHP Developer
References
Getting
Started
News
Archive
Setup and
Installation
Site
Operation
Tips and
Quickies
Tricks and
Hacks

Copyright 2016 QuinStreet Inc.


All Rights Reserved.

http://www.phpbuilder.com/articles/application-architecture/optimization/php-and-zend-engine-internals.html

10/10