I am an Sr. developer/architect/Product Manager for embedded systems. The systems that I have had experience with have typically been small to medium size codebases - typically close to 25-30K LOC in C, using 8-16 and 32 bit low end microcontrollers. The systems have been entirely bootstrapped by our team - meaning right from the start-up code to the end application code has either been written by the team, or at the very least, is thoroughly understood and maintained by us.
Now, if we were to start developing more complex systems with complex peripherals, such as USB OTG et al. (think, low end cell phones), there are libraries and stacks available commercially and from chip vendors that reduce the task to just calling the right APIs and being able to use those peripherals. Now, from a habit point of view, this does not give me and the team a comfortable feeling, not being able to comprehend the entire code tree, with virtual black boxes at the lower layers.
Is it reasonable to devote, and reserve, time getting into the details of how the APIs are implemented, assuming that the same would also entail getting into details of relevant standards (again, for USB as an example)? Or, alternatively, should a thorough understanding of the top level usage of the APIs be sufficient? This of course assumes that the source codes to all libraries are available, which they are, in almost all cases.
Edit: In partial response to @Abhi Beckert, the documentation is refreshingly very comprehensive and meticulously maintained, AFAIK and been able to judge. I have not had a long experience with the same.
Edit2: Excellent advice, everyone! Let me add that the evaluation phase is being conducted by only 2 devs, including myself. Also, shims may be potentially expensive in a resource constrained embedded environment, but I will have a look.