For maintaining high stability and production yield of production equipment in a semiconductor fab, on-line quality monitoring of wafers is required. In current practice, physical metrology is performed only on monitor wafers that are periodically added in production equipment for processing with production wafers. Hence, equipment performance drift happening in-between the scheduled monitoring cannot be detected promptly. This may cause defects of production wafers and the production cost. In this paper, a novel virtual metrology scheme (VMS) that is based on a radial basis function neural network (RBFN) is proposed for overcoming this problem. The VMS is capable of predicting quality of production wafers using real-time sensor data from production equipment. Consequently, equipment performance abnormality or drift can be detected timely. Finally, the effectiveness of the proposed VMS is validated by tests on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes in practical semiconductor manufacturing. It is therefore proved that RBFN can be effectively used to construct prediction models for CVD processes.