Note: This manual is provided for your convenience only - this is not the official source and may not be 100% up to date.
Sometimes, PHP "as is" simply isn't enough. Although these cases are rare for the average user, professional applications will soon lead PHP to the edge of its capabilities, in terms of either speed or functionality. New functionality cannot always be implemented natively due to language restrictions and inconveniences that arise when having to carry around a huge library of default code appended to every single script, so another method needs to be found for overcoming these eventual lacks in PHP.
As soon as this point is reached, it's time to touch the heart of PHP and take a look at its core, the C code that makes PHP go.