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The problem of preamble detection in the additive white Gaussian noise channel is considered. Performance bounds on locating the preamble sequence for uncoordinated packet-based communication systems are derived. The preamble sequence is differentially encoded and spread. At the receiver, a differential correlation-based threshold detector is employed to locate the preamble boundaries. Simulation results are presented to validate the analytical expressions. It is found that by taking 2 sample per chip the detector can be used to provide chip synchronization, with little deviations in system performance from the chip synchronous case.