Photon is an open source PHP "micro framework" using Mongrel2 and ZeroMQ. It was created by Loïc d'Anterroches, who claims that Photon is three to 10 times faster than frameworks such as Zend. "Photon does not try to do everything, the core is small, easy to understand and without magic," d'Anterroches writes.
As an example, d'Anterroches posted the code for a real-time chat application built with Photon. "This is effectively the entire "server side views handling the jsSocket connection," he wrote on Hacker News. "The front end is a copy/paste of the chat available in the Mongrel2 examples."
Mongrel2 is a Web server built from the ground up to be extremely fast. It was founded by Zed Shaw, who also created Mongrel, but it is a complete departure from the original Mongrel.
ZeroMQ is a messaging layer that d'Anterroches claims enables Photon to be extremely flexible yet high performance.
Since Photon is so minimal, additional components will soon be available through what d'Anterroches calls the Particles Project.