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Direct sequence ultra wide band (DS-UWB) is a wireless communication technique using codes to spread the transmitted data over a bandwidth in the order of 1.3 GHz. As the targeted data rate increases, shorter spreading codes are used, leading to a higher sensitivity to inter symbol interference (ISI). This paper presents a comparative study on the effect of different spreading codes on the system performance. The results show that the use of m-sequences increase the system performance in the case of BPSK modulation, at the cost of a decreased scalability in terms of available data rates. For 4BOK modulation, we present original coding schemes leading to an increased robustness to ISI in the case of uncoded communication. These results confirm that ISI can effectively be mitigated by using specifically optimized spreading codes.