As an outgrowth of Industry 4.0, "zero-defect manufacturing" is dedicated to dramatically improving product yield and ultimately achieving zero-defect products. Presently, the manufacturing process mainly adopts the physical inspection method for product quality inspection, which is an off-line test with high detection cost and delayed guide. By monitoring production process data and predicting product quality or process, virtual metrology (VM) may transform the traditional off-line and delayed quality sampling into online and real-time quality full inspection. Firstly, we summarize the development of VM over time. Then the research status and typical application scenarios of VM, especially in semiconductor manufacturing, are introduced. Subsequently, the common VM techniques and practical engineering problems are outlined, such as data preprocessing, predictive modeling methods and system function design. Finally, we prospect the manufacturing process VM problem, and propose a manufacturing process intelligent management system, which integrates data preprocessing and visualization, VM and quality tracing.