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Semiconductor manufacturing is a highly complex value-adding process, which is facing an extreme cost pressure. Currently a manufacturing cost reduction of 15 % per year has to be achieved by increased equipment and fab productivity. One contribution for achieving a cost reduction in semiconductor manufacturing is to reduce the effort for defect density control operations. In this paper, the basic concept and the main functionality of a predictive sampling concept will be described. A comprehensive overview of results using real historical data from several Infineon IC manufacturing sites will be presented and discussed. The application of the developed predictive sampling strategy provides an optimized tool control or technology control and a reduced effort for defect density control operations.