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This paper proposes a novel circuit design methodology, called common-case computation (CCC)-based design, and new design automation algorithms for optimizing energy consumption and performance. The proposed techniques are applicable in conjunction with any high-level design methodology, where a structural register-transfer level (RTL) description and its corresponding scheduled behavioral (cycle-accurate functional) description are available. It is a well-known fact that in behavioral descriptions of hardware circuits (and also in software programs), a small set of computations often account for most of the computational complexity. However, in the hardware implementations (structural RTL or lower level), the common cases and the remaining computations are typically treated alike. This paper shows that identifying and exploiting common cases during the design process can lead to implementations that are much more efficient in terms of energy consumption and performance.