In a new post to the Internet Super Hero blogtoday, there's an official announcement about the release of the latest MySQL native driver for PHP - version mysqlnd-5.0.1-beta.
Dear Developers, we are proud to announce the beta version of the MySQL native driver for PHP: mysqlnd 5.0.1-beta. The software is available for download on http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/connector/php-mysqlnd.
The driver provides an alternate way to connect to a MySQL server (4.1 or newer) and is a replacement for the standard libmysql library usually used to compile support into PHP. Updates in this new release include the addition of support for prepared statements and support for Unicode strings.