Hyper-V, Microsoft’s answer to VMware’s popular hypervisor, will continue to require 64-bit processors, as it always has, while adding new hardware virtualization requirements.
“Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system that has Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
,” explains Hyper-V program manager Mathew John in Microsoft’s Windows 8 blog. “SLAT is a feature present in the current generation of 64-bit processors by Intel & AMD. You’ll also need a 64-bit version of Windows 8, and at least 4GB of RAM.”
SLAT is a form of hardware virtualization that is included in newer versions of Intel and AMD processors, such as Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 processors and AMD’s Barcelona processors. Hyper-V always required some form of hardware virtualization, but this is more restrictive than the current specs.
If the same requirement applies to the forthcoming Windows Server 8, then some machines capable of running Hyper-V today would not be able to run Hyper-V after upgrading. For example, Intel Core 2 machines meet Hyper-V’s current requirements, but do not contain the SLAT feature. (Source