Some high level questions from a senior software engineer

I’ve been doing software in many different areas for over 20 years (server, client, mobile, gaming, etc), but never at the level of processors and firmware a lot of this is new to me.

I have some probably really obvious and stupid sounding questions, but I’d be really happy if someone could help me wrap my head around a few things.

I am now researching how to create our own OEM tablet because my company is in development mode, and has had trouble with sourcing various commercial white label Android tablets because their Android OS’s are often lacking or buggy. We have to rely on the manufacturer to make fixes, which isn’t working out for various reasons.

So I found ROCK Pi 4

Question 1:
Is ROCK Pi 4 meant to be a development board and not for production, similar to Raspberry Pi?

Question 2:
If ROCK Pi 4 is meant to be a development board, what is the process to move it to production? Design a PCB, find someone to manufacture the other components and assemble?

Question 3:
I see the ROCK Pi Android 9 is open source.

I think in the FAQ page for ROCK Pi 4, it stated that ROCK Pi 4 supports the Raspberry Pi 7" display. Ultimately, I want to be able to support a larger display. Is the support for displays a hardware issue or an OS issue?

Question 4:
Is Android source code linked to the processor or everything on the board? So for example, Is ROCK Pi 4 Android source code specific to ROCK Pi 4 or can it work on any board that uses RK3399?

Yes and no. There are customers using ROCK Pi 4 in production environment, many many.

It depends on your product form factor. For some applications, the customer just use add a case and connect HDMI to use.

For larger display, you can use eDP LCD, which ROCK Pi 4 is not supported. Maybe you can consider ROCK Pi 4 Core SoM.

The ROCK Pi 4 source code can also be used for other RK3399 devices.

Continuing my question #4:

  1. Does the operating system concern itself with the hardware such as how much RAM or whether the Wifi is 2.4G or 5G? Does each physical component have a firmware driver with specific API to communicate to the OS?

The reason I ask is because several RK3399 Android tablet samples we have purchased have some errors within Android. Either they don’t fully implement the AOSP or there are issues such as videos or audio don’t play properly.

  1. Rock Pi 4 does not support a large eDP LCD. It sounds like that is a hardware issue. But I can put the Rock Pi 4 Android build on Rock Pi 4 SoM and it can use a larger display without any modification?