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The ideal phase detector characteristic is analyzed for estimating the phase difference between two stochastic input signals. This can essentially be described as a correlation process formed by multiplying the two input signals and extracting the phase. High signal-to-noise ratio conditions are assumed to linearize the system with respect to the noise. The effects of the nonlinearity on the signal are handled in terms of a series expansion and by using low-pass filtering on the receiver output. The mean square error of the system is calculated for some typical parameters.