The usage model of RapidIO required providing support for memory-to-memory transactions, including atomic read-modify-write operations. To meet these embedded solutions requirements, RapidIO provides Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), messaging, and signaling constructs that can be implemented without software intervention. For example, in a RapidIO system, a processor can issue a load or store transaction, or an integrated DMA engine can transfer data between two memory locations. These embedded solutions are conducted across a RapidIO fabric, where their sources or destination addresses are located, and typically occur without any software intervention. As viewed by the processor, they are no different than common memory transactions.
RapidIO was also designed to support peer-to-peer transactions. It was assumed multiple host or master processors would be in the system and that those processors needed to communicate with each other through shared memory, interrupts, and messages. Multiple processors (up to 16K) can be configured in a RapidIO network, each with their own complete address space.