if you can manage to find enough docs on the wifi AP chips - you wouldn't be able to do any better from a price standpoint...
supposedly those ADI boards were specifically designed to interface to FPGA's. from the webpage:
The FMCOMMS1-EBZ provides the analog front-end for a wide range of compute-intensive FPGA-based radio applications. When combined with an FPGA development platform, FMCOMMS1-EBZ enables a variety of wireless communications functions at the physical layer, from baseband to RF.
A PCIe solution seems like it would be easier than USB 3.0... the FPGA certainly has enough grunt for either, but PCIe seems like it would be cleaner....there's got to be some info on drivers for them somewhere
seems like TI should have something...but I'm not seeing anything any better than the CC3200.
the nFR24L01 sounds like it might be worth a look (but is only 2Mbps) - my impression was that these were generally lower-level devices without quite as much (or at least easily removed) firmware layers. The nFR24LE1 kit documentation is mentioning transmit and on-air times in the hundreds of uS with configurable retries - but retransmissions times are up around 5mS.
seems like something geared towards wireless video transmission would be a good bet...
analog devices has a wireless SDR module for FPGA's ....for $750 - looks like it has a dual core Cortex A9 on it - that would probably be powerful enough....
you may actually want to look into one of the OSH SDR projects that have become popular - maybe they'll have enough bandwidth for what you're trying to do?
[quote author="doub"][quote author="bearmos"]Cortex M4 is just M3 with HW floating point support.[/quote]
Not that it matters much in this topic, but that's not exactly true. What the M4 adds to the M3 is the DSP instruction set. The floating point support is an option in the M4. Some Cortex-M4 microcontrollers don't have an FPU. To be sure either look for a Cortex-M4F or check the chip datasheet for the ARM core options the silicon vendor has chosen.[/quote]
Datasheets include the register addresses/layouts, most of the times these are in the larger reference or "programmer" manuals. Other than the basic ARM registers, this is what you're looking for - which was included in the datasheet you attached.
1. How to actually target a device and get the binary into a processor
As far as platforms go, I've used the ST discovery series, which include a programmer on-board (most of their lower-end chips don't include baked-in bootloader vs the Atmel chip you linked to appears to have a factory bootloader for USB/UART).
2. Things to consider, differences between RISC and ARM architecture
It's been too long since I've been in assembly on 8 bit and I've never used it on the ARM's - just C/C++
3. Tools to assemble ARM assembly
http://http://www.keil.com/arm/mdk.asp Free up to 32K I believe - which you're not going to hit any time soon if you're in assembly! There are plenty of other environments out there as well, like Coo Cox IDE (completely free), based on eclipse...not sure how their programmer support is, but they do support the ST Discovery boards out of the box from what i remember.
4. Example code
I would look for a simple tutorial from your toolchain vendor once you decide on one.