Increasing circuit delay range due to process variations, temperature and voltage fluctuations and input characterization makes the traditional worst-case fault-avoidance design methodology no longer sustainable. As an alternative, the average-case fault-detection design methodology is generating interest. Among existing solutions, function speculation design with error recovery mechanisms is quite promising due to its high performance and low area overhead. Previous work has focused on two-stage function speculation and thus lacks a systematic way to address the challenge of the multistage function speculation approach. For the first time, this paper proposes a multistage function speculation structure and applies it in a novel adder. We deduced the analytical performance and area models for the design and validated them in our experiments. Based on those models, a general methodology is presented to guide design optimization. Both analytical proofs and experimental results show that the proposed adder’s delay and area has a logarithmic and linear relationship with its bit number,respectively. Compared with the DesignWare IP, the proposed adder provides the same performance with 6–16% area reductions under different bit number configurations.