On the day Trinity Convergence announced formally the closing on $5.6 million in new financing, other news from the world of telecommunications added further evidence as to why the investors have now poured $16.1 million into the embedded software developer.

Trinity Convergence is all about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and emerging Voice and Video over IP (V2IP) devices. And markets that can use VoIP, especially in the wireless space, are red, red hot.

Cingular said Tuesday that it had completed the first tests of high-speed data, including video, over its third-generation (3G) cellular network in Atlanta. Also Tuesday, 26 well-known telecom firms said they are at work on improvements in 3G called Super 3G, which will deliver voice, video and other services at 10 times the current rates.

VoIP usage could have topped 1 million by the end of 2004, according to Gartner. Vonage, a provider of VoIP services, already has several hundred thousand users. The Yankee Group sees the VoIP market has hitting 17.5 million households in 2008. Jupiter, another analysis firm, projects big growth but a smaller number — 12.1 million households by 2009.

While Trinity, which has offices in RTP and Great Britain, won’t identify its customers, the list is acknowledged as including some of the biggest original equipment manufacturers and original device manufacturers in the world.

Trinity’s “secret sauce” is embedded software designed to help VoIP and V2IP devices use less power, cost less to produce, and be smaller in size.

“We closed over a dozen OEM contracts this past year, and we are actually seeing quite strong demand,” Michael Ward, director of product line management, told Local Tech Wire. “They range from the small startups to several Tier-1 manufacturers.”

Trinity produces revenues in two ways: an initial upfront licensing fee for rights to use its software and royalties for each device sold.

Ward said Trinity also sees further opportunities developing, especially in another area of network convergence. Some companies are talking about merging cellular and WiFi capabilities into one device so that customers can use the same phone either outside the office through cellular or inside buildings utilizing WiFi, he said. Another emerging demand is for person-to-person conferencing using IP headsets.

Intersouth, Core Capital Partners and Mid-Atlantic Funds led the Series C round. Trinity raised its first $1.5 million in 2001. In all it has now raised $16.1 million.

Trinity plans to use the funds to expand its sales and marketing initiatives “to a wider set of customers,” Ward said. The company also plans to expand research and development efforts “to expand our feature set”, he added. Trinity also plans to expand its staff. The company employs 30 people, including 10 at its RTP headquarters, according to Trinity’s Alli Blakebrough.

Currently, Trinity’s best-known product is VeriCall Edge, which deals with both VoIP and V2IP. It is usable for both wired and mobile devices.

Trinity’s software enables device manufacturers to avoid having to use a digital signal processor (DSP) as well as a microcontroller.

“Our software helps OEMs concentrate on their core competencies and decrease their time to market,” Ward said.

Trinity was launched when Dallas-based Blue Wave Systems was sold to Motorola’s computer group. Jeff Critser headed the global accounts sales efforts for Blue Wave, which developed Internet telephony hardware and software. He and a team of engineers created Trinity. Critser later left the firm and is now an executive with Raytheon JPS Communications in Raleigh. Telecommunications veteran Salim Bhatia replaced Critser as CEO. Critser’s co-founders (David Brown, vice president engineering; Mark Felice, vice president sales and marketing; Brian Lees, vice president, European Operations) remain with Trinity.

Trinity Convergence: www.trinityconvergence.com

(Note: For an interview with Salim Bhatia when he took over Trinity, see: www.localtechwire.com/article.cfm?u=2079 )