Some questions regarding the HiKey970

I’d like to purchase the HiKey970 board for serious kernel programming, electrical engineering and maybe some graphics programming as I’d like to transition from my x86 computer to a more open environment, and I have a few questions:

  1. What WiFi/Bluetooth chip does the board use, and does it have free open source drivers?
  2. What firmware does the device run (Das UBoot, some UEFI implementation, coreboot, etc), and is it free and open source (and if it is where can I download it)? - WHOOPS, just read the documentation and realised it’s got some kind of UEFI implementation, but it’s libre (correct me if I’m wrong).
  3. Can I somehow connect an SSD to the board (I’ve seen a few mentions here in the forums that this board has a SATA connection but I haven’t seen it in the hardware manual) and boot from it?
  4. Will the device work with the mainline Linux kernel, or does it need specialised kernels and/or binary blobs?
  5. I plan to install Gentoo on this device and want to encrypt my entire root partition. Is this doable? And is there more in depth documentation of the boot process of the device? I really don’t understand how this thing boots as I’ve only had experience with BIOS-based PCs (I did tinker a lot with flashing Android devices though, is it similar to that?).
    Sorry if I missed something in the documentation.