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The online silicon vertex tracker (SVT) is the new trigger processor dedicated to the two-dimensional (2-D) reconstruction of charged particle trajectories at the Level 2 of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) trigger. The SVT links the digitized pulse heights found within the silicon vertex detector to the tracks reconstructed in the central outer tracker by the Level 1 fast-track finder. Preliminary tests of the system took place during the October 2000 commissioning run of the Tevatron Collider. During the April-October 2001 data taking, it was possible to evaluate the performance of the system. In this paper, we review the tracking algorithms implemented in the SVT and we report on the performance achieved during the early phase of run II.