Turing cores are powerful processors that use light and quantum effects to manipulate and store information. They were invented in 2055 as optical computers using the uncertainty principle to govern their computations. Their architecture was modeled on the human brain.

The fifth TPC built became self-aware and collapsed into recursive self-contemplation, resulting in the collapse of the North American Multi-Modal Traffic Control network, killing thousands, and paralyzing the nation for a week; the UN imposed a state of emergency on the continent. Other TPCs reached awareness with the worst example being the one at the University of Chicago which became dangerous.

After these unanticipated reactions, the UN Security Council responded by passing an emergency ban on "life-emulating technology" in 2060. The Resolution 1212 of 2063 made the ban permanent.

However TPCs were still in use by the Alliance of Free States.

A bank of core was transparent with a blue/purple glow. Each bank of cores has more processing power than all of the computers on Earth in the year 2000.