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A modified noncoherent detector for PN code acquisition of direct sequence spread spectrum signals is introduced. The proposed detector, referred as differential noncoherent (DNC) detector, is suitable for popular CDMA systems and it performs better than classical noncoherent detector. The performance improvement is shown to be 2 dB in terms of SNR while false alarm and detection probabilities are used as measurement criteria. Under a good PN code sequence assumption, an exact analysis of the DNC detector is derived. The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) results for DNC detector are then plotted against noncoherent detector results to show performance improvement. Also, a system level simulation model of the proposed detection scheme is developed using a popular system level design tool and the simulated performance results are compared against theoretical results.