One of the major application fields of image processing techniques is the 'visual inspection'. For a number of rea-sons, the automated visual inspection of Integrated Circuits (IC's) has drawn a lot of attention. : Their very strict design makes them very suitable for an automated inspection. : There is already a lot of experience in the comparable Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and mask inspection. : The mechanical handling of wafers and dice is already an established technology. : Military and medical IC's should be a 100 % failproof. : IC inspection gives a high and allinost immediate payback. In this paper we wil try to give an outline of the problems involved in IC inspection, and the algorithms and methods used to overcome these problems. We will not go into de-tail, but we will try to give a general understanding. Our attention will go to the following topics. : An overview of the inspection process, with an emphasis on the second visual inspection. : The problems encountered in IC inspection, as opposed to the comparable PCB and mask inspection. : The image acquisition devices that can be used to obtain 'inspectable' images. : A general overview of the algorithms that can be used. : A short description of the algorithms developed at the ESAT-MI2 division of the katholieke Universiteit Leuven.